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Euro Disney Reports Loss of $204 Million : Entertainment: Walt Disney lost $86.9 million on the operation in the same period. Alternative financing is under review.

April 28, 1993|JAMES BATES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Euro Disney, the struggling theme park near Paris operated by Walt Disney Co., on Tuesday disclosed it lost about $204 million in the six months ended March 31 and reiterated that it will show a "substantial loss" in the fiscal year ending in September.

The announcement comes a day after Walt Disney Co. disclosed that its share of Euro Disney's losses came to $44 million in the second quarter ended March 31, and $86.9 million for the six-month period. Disney, which owns 49% of Euro Disney, also disclosed that it is reviewing financing alternatives for the park, leading analysts to speculate that an infusion of capital from Disney may be near.

Disney reported a 25% surge in its quarterly profit, to $204.9 million, this week, despite Euro Disney's problems. It closed down 12.5 cents, to $40.875, after trading as low as $39.125 on Tuesday.

Analysts at Salomon Bros. and Merrill Lynch downgraded Disney's stock, while a third analyst at PaineWebber raised his rating, citing the potential of upcoming animated films such as "Pocahontas" and "The Lion King." And some European analysts said they expect that Euro Disney could break even in the second half of its fiscal year.

Salomon Bros. analyst Margo Vignola downgraded her rating of the stock to a hold from a buy. She cited more potential Euro Disney problems, soft retail sales that will pressure Disney merchandise sales and the difficulty Disney will have matching the box-office success of the last Christmas season, when it released "Aladdin," Disney's biggest box-office hit to date.

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