Pixar Animation Studios more than tripled its earnings in the first quarter on strong DVD sales of its Oscar-winning film "The Incredibles," the company said Thursday.
Meanwhile, in a call with analysts to discuss the results, Pixar Chief Executive Steve Jobs said he has had several conversations with Robert Iger, CEO-elect of The Walt Disney Co.
"He seems like a terrific guy," Jobs said.
Pixar is nearing completion of its next film, "Cars," which is set to be the last distributed under a deal with Disney. Pixar ended talks last year for a new agreement in part because of animosity between Jobs and Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
Jobs' computer animation company reported net income of $81.9 million, or 67 cents a share in the quarter ended April 2, compared to $26.7 million, or 23 cents a share in the same period last year.
Quarterly revenue tripled to $161 million, compared to $53.9 million in the same period last year.
The earnings per share also reflect the results of a 2-for-1 stock split, which took effect April 19. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 47 cents a share.
The company said 11 cents of the earnings per share came from better-than-expected sales of "The Incredibles," which won the Academy Award for best animated film.
The movie has already sold 17.7 million units _ 97 percent of which were DVDs, which carry a higher profit margin than VHS tapes.
The earnings were disclosed after the Nasdaq Stock Market closed. Shares of Pixar fell 42 cents to $46.27 at the end of regular trading then rose $2.23, or 4.8 percent, in after-hours trading.
Iger has said he would be interested in reopening contract talks with Pixar after he takes over for Eisner in September .
Jobs said he has had several "nice" conversations with Iger, but no negotiations involving a new distribution deal have been conducted. Jobs would like to have a distribution deal in place with a major studio by the end of the year. He said Pixar had nearly $900 million in cash at the end of the first quarter, enough to finance and market its own films, if necessary.
Under the current deal, Disney contributes half the production cost of each film but takes more than 60 percent of the box office revenue. The companies split revenue evenly from home video sales.
Pixar is looking to own 100 percent of its movies after "Cars" and pay a studio to distribute the films.
The company said it has four movies in some stage of development and has started production on its next film, which will be released in 2007. Pixar is ramping up to produce one film a year and will announce details of its next three projects by year's end, Jobs said.