The Walt Disney Company

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  • Today, 3:58 PM
    | Today, 3:58 PM | 2 Comments
  • Today, 10:42 AM
    • After marking its biggest one-day decline in six months earlier this morning (down 6.6%), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is recovering, down just 3.1% after it posted record Q1 earnings that still drew eyes toward disappointing Media Networks results.
    • The earnings report drew price target cuts from a number of analysts pointing to subscriber trends. BMO Capital's gone low, cutting its target to $95 from $110, as Daniel Salmon pointed to a "notable miss" in Media Networks along with a slight miss in the company's merged consumer licensing/interactive business.
    • BTIG's Rich Greenfield noted on CNBC that while Star Wars results have been fantastic, Disney is still very much a media networks company more than a content company.
    • Guggenheim also went to the low side, trimming its fair value target to $96. Others cut targets but remaining in triple figures: FBR maintained its Outperform rating but cut its target to $101, while JPMorgan Chase (also Overweight) reduced its target to $118. Nomura trimmed its target slightly, to $110 from $115.
    • Previously: Disney call: 'Star Wars' soars; ESPN pessimism 'more dire' then deserved (Feb. 09 2016)
    • Previously: Disney now down 3.2% after 'Star Wars' pushes record quarterly earnings (Feb. 09 2016)
    | Today, 10:42 AM | 11 Comments
  • Today, 4:34 AM
    • ESPN (NYSE:DIS) and DraftKings (Private:DRAFT) have unwound their exclusive advertising relationship - a deal worth $250M - which will allow ESPN to sell ad time to the site's competitors.
    • Separately, 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) has disclosed a write-down on 59% of its investment in DraftKings. During the latter half of 2015, Fox had invested about $160M for a minority stake in the company.
    | Today, 4:34 AM | 2 Comments
  • Yesterday, 5:58 PM
    • Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) continued declining as much as 7% in postmarket trading early in its earnings conference call, and made up a bit of ground during ESPN-related questioning -- now down 3.4%, despite upbeat talk from CEO Bob Iger: "We feel really good about how all four of our businesses are positioned."
    • Star Wars boosted Studio Entertainment (revenues up 46%; operating income up 86%), and not just the new movie, either: Classic titles in the franchise drove increased home entertainment results, and higher TV/SVOD distribution was driven by global growth.
    • Parks and Resorts increased operating income (up 22%) faster than revenue (up 9% to $4.3B), boosted by domestic parks that saw attendance growth and higher guest spending, with higher average ticket prices at parks and the cruise line. International results were affected of course by higher pre-opening costs at Shanghai, opening in June.
    • With analysts and the market seemingly focused like lasers on ESPN, Iger noted "We've actually seen an uptick in ESPN subs, which is encouraging"; notions that ESPN is cratering in any way are "ridiculous; sports is too popular" and "the predictions many have made are more dire than they should be."
    • While there were discrepancies among public comments last summer about what caused declines (cord-cutting or skinny bundles?), execs are in line now: Nielsen was telling them it was a simple loss of subs, but with corrected numbers, "we concluded that our sub loss was largely due to the fact that ESPN was not part of skinny bundles that had launched."
    • Iger's comments on TV suggested a split bet: "The expanded basic bundle will remain the dominant product for consumers for the foreseeable future," he says, while also noting that the company has brands built for over-the-top: Star Wars, Marvel and (most interestingly) ESPN. "Expect innovation and pursuit of new distribution opportunities."
    • Previously: Disney now down 3.2% after 'Star Wars' pushes record quarterly earnings (Feb. 09 2016)
    • Related: Walt Disney's (DIS) CEO Bob Iger on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Feb. 09 2016)
    | Yesterday, 5:58 PM | 73 Comments
  • Yesterday, 4:37 PM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) has turned south after hours, -3.2%, after posting an all-time high in quarterly earnings, easily beating expectations with a little help from a space opera. Revenues jumped 14% Y/Y.
    • Earnings of $2.9B were a record and up nearly 32% from the prior year.
    • Studio Entertainment and Consumer Products & Interactive Media both reported record operating income, up 86% and 23% respectively, credited to success from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Parks & Resorts grew operating income 22%, while it fell 6% at Media Networks.
    • Revenue by segment: Media Networks, $6.33B (up 8%); Parks & Resorts, $4.28B (up 9%); Studio Entertainment, $2.72B (up 46%); Consumer Products & Interactive Media, $1.91B (up 8%).
    • The company pointed to timing of the College Football Playoff -- games moved to the New Year's holiday and ratings sank -- for the hit to Media Networks. But: "We've actually seen an uptick recently in ESPN subs," CEO Bob Iger tells CNBC.
    • Conference call to come at 5 p.m. ET.
    • Press Release
    | Yesterday, 4:37 PM | 90 Comments
  • Yesterday, 4:22 PM
    • Walt Disney  (NYSE:DIS): FQ1 EPS of $1.63 beats by $0.18.
    • Revenue of $15.24B (+13.8% Y/Y) beats by $490M.
    • Shares +2.8%.
    • Press Release
    | Yesterday, 4:22 PM | 71 Comments
  • Yesterday, 3:24 PM
    • What to watch as Walt Disney (DIS +0.5%) reports after the bell: Anything to say about whether ESPN can dampen top-line enthusiasm coming from the early success of Star Wars.
    • Results should still be strong Y/Y, says SA contributor JJ Kinahan; the question is whether the recent strength is sustainable as subscribers depart ESPN by the millions.
    • Implied volatility is high, Kinahan says, suggesting a strong move either direction out of earnings. Some options traders are buying puts to hedge against a drop.
    • Analyst Michael Nathanson warns of legitimate concern over twin levers on ESPN: declining affiliate fee growth against the rising cost of providing sports. The company needs to be proactive about the ESPN narrative to fend off long-term worries, he says.
    | Yesterday, 3:24 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 8, 5:35 PM
  • Mon, Feb. 8, 3:06 PM
    • With millions of viewers taking in the de facto national holiday of the Super Bowl, box office receipts slipped 8% Y/Y and those who did get out had little to excite them aside from a fighting panda and the Coen Bros.
    • Total box office was $93.5M, compared to an American Sniper-boosted $101.8M last year. Kung Fu Panda 3 (DWA -1.9%, Fox distributing) led easily for the second week in a row, drawing $21M to bring its total to $69M. Meanwhile, the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar! (CMCSA -0.9%) performed as expected (lightly) with $11.4M to fall into No. 2.
    • The Revenant (FOX -2.8%, FOXA -3%) with $7.1M, again edged Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS -3.9%) and its $6.9M for third place. New films The Choice (LGF +0.3%) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies disappointed with $6.1M and $5.2M respectively.
    • In Star Wars marks, the film crested $900M domestically to add to its best-ever total, and crossed the $2B global-gross milestone over the weekend, getting it closer -- but not too close -- to Titanic's $2.19B.
    • With a $178M gap to cross, it may take a long engagement for Star Wars to surpass Titanic's global numbers, and it's unlikely to catch Avatar ($2.78B) for the all-time global crown. Disney reports earnings tomorrow.
    | Mon, Feb. 8, 3:06 PM | 6 Comments
  • Sun, Feb. 7, 10:16 AM
    • New products and fresh marketing campaigns will be highlighted during today's Super Bowl.
    • Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD): The Bud Light Party is back and Shock Top breaks new ground for craft beers with a SB call-up.
    • Audi (OTCPK:VLKAY): No apologies from Volkswagen, as it looks ahead with an Audi ad featuring David Bowie classic Starman.
    • Unilever (NYSE:UL): The AXE brand will be pushed to the Y-chromosome set in a key spot.
    • Buick: General Motors (NYSE:GM) continues to work on making Buick cool with younger generations. NFL star Odell Beckham and actress Emily Ratajkowski feature today.
    • Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) - Disney (NYSE:DIS): The two iconic companies will feature together when Coca-Cola promotes Marvel characters with its products.
    • Fitbit (NYSE:FIT): The tech firm will throw a Hail Mary in the third quarter with a 30-second spot on its Blaze model. Shares of Fitbit are off 47% YTD.
    • Newell-Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL): Marmot will be promoted in a Super Bowl ad for the first time. The outdoor gear brand has seen momentum build over the last few months.
    • Taco Bell (NYSE:YUM): A new product will be unveiled during the game. The timing is key with McDonald's All-Day Breakfast initiative showing strong results in the U.S.
    • Kia (OTC:HYMLF): The South Korean automaker rolls out Christopher Walken for an Optima ad. Walken brings a viral potential to any setting.
    • AdAge's full Super Bowl breakdown
    | Sun, Feb. 7, 10:16 AM | 31 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 3, 12:05 PM
    • In a multiyear partnership, ESPN (DIS +1%) and Chinese Internet leader Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY -2%) will pair to offer games and commentary in Mandarin.
    • Financial terms weren't disclosed. Tencent's sports site, QQ, will get live streams of the NCAA men's basketball tournament (March Madness) along with 100 other college basketball games, the X Games, and ESPN analysis for the NBA playoffs and soccer matches starting in April.
    • Most NBA viewing in China happens on computers or mobile devices via the Internet. The deal's an example of Disney's country-by-country approach to expanding ESPN and Disney content; traditional pay TV is still the focus in the U.S., while online distribution is taking the lead in other markets.
    | Wed, Feb. 3, 12:05 PM | 21 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 2, 12:37 PM
    • After Walt Disney (DIS -1.7%) floated trial balloons last year over demand-based pricing at its theme parks, Universal Studios (CMCSA -1.6%) is becoming the first to fully launch the model, anticipating heavy crowds at the April 7 opening of its attraction "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter."
    • In Universal's case, visitors buying at the gate will still pay $95. But booking online for low-demand days can save park visitors up to $20. Discounts will still be smaller on weekends and peak demand periods.
    • The move can help Universal manage demand and comes with perks for customers: Those who book online can enter the Harry Potter area an hour before the rest of the park opens.
    • Harry Potter attractions have been a big revenue driver for Comcast, and no doubt Disney is watching closely: It may want to better manage demand for its "Star Wars" land when it opens in Anaheim.
    • Previously: Disney polls guests on demand-priced park ticket scheme (May. 28 2015)
    | Tue, Feb. 2, 12:37 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 1, 4:42 PM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) and 20th Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) have led a $50M funding round for Atom Tickets, a firm with a mobile movie-ticketing app that allows for advance purchases of movie tickets and even concessions.
    • Disney Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Mayer pointed to social as the root of their interest: “Their technology not only adds value to the consumer, but also helps movie studios and theaters by providing deep consumer insights, advanced analytics, and concession and ticket couponing.” It allows for groups to coordinate moviegoing while still being able to split the ticket prices.
    • Dynamic pricing -- which could help theaters fill unsold seats in screenings -- may be in the future as well. The app is trying to cross moats around well-known brands in Fandango, owned by NBCUniversal (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and
    • Meanwhile Fandango has bought streaming service M-GO from joint venture owners Technicolor (OTCQX:TCLRY) and DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA). Terms weren't disclosed.
    • It wants to build "new moviegoing products and services," and NBCUniversal has talked about working with Technicolor on virtual and augmented reality.
    | Mon, Feb. 1, 4:42 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Feb. 1, 2:12 PM
    • Kung Fu Panda 3 (DWA -7.5%, Fox distributing) was victorious at the weekend box office, dominating with a $41M domestic showing that easily surpassed holiday holdovers.
    • The Revenant (FOX -0.7%, FOXA -0.4%) drew $12.4M to bring its cumulative take to $138.2M, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS -0.6%) edged Disney's newcomer, rescue film The Finest Hours, for third place with $10.8M.
    • The Force Awakens' seventh weekend brought its all-time best domestic total to $895.4M, and the film should cross $2B in total global gross by next weekend.
    • Kung Fu Panda's success helped the recovery of a box office hit by a winter storm last week. Overall grosses were up 30% Y/Y (though last year's comp was Super Bowl weekend).
    | Mon, Feb. 1, 2:12 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 1, 3:24 AM
    • Just how much longer should cord-cutters be able to watch episodes from the current seasons of TV shows on Hulu (CMCSA, FOX/FOXA, DIS)?
    • That is one question that has emerged in negotiations between media giant Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) and Hulu, which have been heating up lately, according to WSJ.
    • The two sides have been in talks since late last year about Time Warner buying into the streaming site as a part-owner.
    | Mon, Feb. 1, 3:24 AM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 12:35 PM
    • Hulu is shoring up its documentary cred with a deal to become the exclusive home of documentaries by IFC Films after their theatrical release.
    • The agreement covers documentaries put out by IFC Films, IFC Midnight, and Sundance Selects. The first film covered will be King Georges, about French restaurateur Georges Perrier, followed by City of Gold (about food critic Jonathan Gold) and Sundance premiere Weiner (about former congressman Anthony Weiner).
    • Weiner, though, will hit Hulu (CMCSA, FOX/FOXA, DIS) after a 15-month exclusive run on Showtime (which also can be added to Hulu).
    • The documentaries will be available on Hulu's Limited Commercial and No Commercial plans.
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 12:35 PM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Walt Disney Co together with its subsidiaries is a diversified entertainment company with operations in five business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive.