The company’s rosy numbers were the result of strong sales of the home video editions of Toy Story and sales derived from Pixar-licensed merchandise. Pixar says that about 21 million copies of the popular movie were sold during the fourth quarter, helping to push revenue to $75.7 million. A year ago at this time, Pixar reported $24.9 million in revenue.
Pixar CFO Ann Mather raised guidance for Pixar’s first quarter, based on revenue expected from merchandise sales, home video sales, and licensing fees from a forthcoming pay-per-view airing of “A Bug’s Life.” Mather expects Pixar to post Q1 earnings of between 9 to 12 cents per share; Pixar previously pegged that number at 6 to 10 cents per share. Pixar has raised 2001 earnings estimates from 20 to 45 cents per share to 30 to 50 cents per share.
During the analyst call, Jobs indicated that Pixar is on track to release one film every year and a half. The company’s next production, Monsters, Inc., is set to be released on Nov. 2, 2001. Monsters, Inc.’s release date has been moved up three weeks to avoid competition with the expected release of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the movie based on J.K. Rowling’s first book.
Pixar and Disney are now in the midst of a long-term agreement to bring five computer-animated films to market, which Pixar will produce and Disney will distribute and market.