Warner Bros. Discovery Takes Painful Stock Hit, Not Even Barbie Can Save Them

By Douglas Helm | Published

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Warner Bros. Discovery took a pretty rough hit on the stock market this week, as the media conglomerate reported a decline in ad revenue, a larger-than-expected loss, and underwhelming figures for streaming subscriptions. The company’s third-quarter performance that ended on September 30 also fell short of analyst expectations, ultimately leading to a 19 percent plummet in share prices.

Warner Bros. Discovery Stock Numbers

CNBC reported the figures reported by Warner Bros. Discovery compared to the initial analyst estimates. According to their numbers, the loss per share was 17 cents versus the expected 6 cents. Although, the $9.98 billion in revenue was in line with the expected figure.

While Warner Bros. Discovery and shareholders likely aren’t thrilled with these figures, the company did show progress from the $2.31 billion loss that happened in the same quarter last year. The revenue also showed a growth of 2 percent. However, these numbers have to feel especially disappointing after companies like Roku and Paramount experienced a rally in the media sector and favorable earnings reports.

The Future Of Legacy Media

warner bros discovery david zaslav

Warner Bros. Discovery’s disappointing results show that legacy media continues to struggle, with ad revenue in its TV networks falling 12 percent from the previous year. The company pointed to reduced viewership in entertainment and news along with the current advertising trends in the US. However, the troubles aren’t over, as 2024 will pose additional obstacles, such as the Hollywood strikes and the continuation of waning ad revenue.

David Zaslav As The Helm

warner bros discovery david zaslav

CEO David Zaslav weighed in on the performance of Warner Bros. Discovery, saying, “This is a generational disruption we’re going through,” and,  “Going through that with a streaming service that’s losing billions of dollars, it’s really difficult to go on offense.” Zaslav taking the reins on the company after the major merger has not been without its controversies, which may also play into the company’s struggles. Shortly after taking over, Zaslav cut a lot of content from the company’s Max streaming service and outright canceled anticipated films like Batgirl.

Warner Bros. Discovery And Max


This also marks the first full quarter since Warner Bros. Discovery launched the new Max streaming service after merging HBO Max and Discovery+. The company did see disappointing figures for the subscriber numbers overall, but the streaming business did manage to turn a profit during its first quarter. Additionally, the company was able to reduce its overall debt load and reported $2.4 billion in debt repayments, meaning there is remaining debt of $45.3 billion.

Even A Mega-Million Hit Wasn’t Enough To Turn Things Around

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It remains to be seen if Warner Bros. Discovery will be able to turn things around in the next quarter. The company is hot off the release of its massive hit film Barbie, which grossed $1.4 billion at the box office, making it the highest-grossing film of the year. However, it appears even the power of Barbie was able to save the company from a bad quarter.

Can The New DCU Save Warner Bros.?

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Even though Barbie brought in the big bucks for Warner Bros. Discovery, the company saw disappointing numbers for its DC superhero tentpoles like The Flash. That may also turn around soon as James Gunn’s DCU takes over in the coming years. The DCU will kick off with Superman: Legacy in 2025, but shareholders will undoubtedly want to see some better progress before then.