The Walt Disney Company (DIS) - NYSE
  • Thu, May 26, 7:12 PM
    • Four Hollywood studios have now backed off from supporting the movie-exhibition practice called "clearance," which has drawn scrutiny (and lawsuits) from the Justice Dept.
    • Movie theaters by tradition have asked studios to support the practice, allowing some of them exclusive access to showing some movies in a market.
    • But with Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) and Universal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) joining Paramount (VIA, VIAB) and Fox (FOX, FOXA, which has stopped honoring clearance starting with this weekend's X-Men: Apocalypse), a majority of major studios are now lined up against.
    • That means some films may see wider or different distribution as theaters show them who wouldn't previously have been able to. And it may act as a check against increasingly powerful theater chains, including AMC, Regal (NYSE:RGC) and Cinemark (NYSE:CNK). Last year, iPic Entertainment sued AMC and Regal, charging that clearance was designed to drive business away; that case is scheduled for an October trial.
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS), Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) and Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) haven't yet indicated any change in stance toward the practice, though.
    | Thu, May 26, 7:12 PM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, May 26, 9:27 AM
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is up 3.7% premarket, and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) up 0.9%, after the two were linked as takeover targets in a story about Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) content ambitions.
    • The Financial Times reports that Apple exec Eddy Cue raised the idea of buying Time Warner at a meeting with the company's head of corporate strategy at the end of last year.
    • Those ideas didn't get to Apple chief Tim Cook or Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, sources told the FT, but the story does suggest Apple may not be content just talking about licensing others' content for a future TV service.
    • Meanwhile, several bankers suggest to the FT that Netflix is a more likely target for Apple, since an Apple service could then still support a wider range of content makers.
    • Several media companies would be bad targets for Apple because of dual-share structures that favor founders or family ownership (like Comcast, Fox, CBS, and Viacom). Notable exceptions to that concern are Time Warner and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS).
    | Thu, May 26, 9:27 AM | 49 Comments
  • Tue, May 24, 7:55 PM
    • Making good on CEO Les Moonves' upbeat projections, CBS (CBS +1.8%) is wrapping up a stellar run on top of the ratings, logging its eighth straight year as the most-watched network overall as well as grabbing demographic coups.
    • It was also the network's 13th overall ratings win in 14 years (Fox (FOX +1.4%, FOXA +1.4%) stole a year in 2007-08 during the writer's strike).
    • With just a few nights left to count, CBS has won adults 18-49 for just the second time in 24 years, with the help of Super Bowl (which helped the last time it did so, three years ago). It's also No. 1 in adults 25-54 for the ninth time in 13 years.
    • Meanwhile, NBC (CMCSA +1%) had the best first-year class, with new drama hits Blindspot and Chicago Med, and had its most-watched season without a Super Bowl or Olympics in nine years. It would have virtually tied CBS in adults 18-49 if not for the Super Bowl.
    • ABC (DIS +0.3%) saw its ratings decline 14% this year, and decline 18% among adults 18-49.
    • Among the big broadcasters in total, though, viewership declined 7% to another record low amid even greater program variety from newer programming/digital entrants.
    | Tue, May 24, 7:55 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, May 16, 3:14 PM
    • Disney's had a bit of a ride after its first earnings miss in two years, but everything's still coming up Walt at the box office, as the studio held the two top grossing films for the second straight weekend.
    • Captain America: Civil War (NYSE:DIS) built on its strong opening with a $72.6M weekend domestically, and The Jungle Book held down the No. 2 spot despite being in its fifth week of release, with $17.8M.
    • Those two outpaced a couple of relatively solid debuts: Finance-focused Money Monster (SNE +1.1%), with Julia Roberts and George Clooney, was No. 3 with $15M, and low-end Blumhouse thriller The Darkness was No. 4 with $5.2M.
    • Captain America: Civil War added to its overseas take to bring a worldwide cumulative total to $940.9M -- and, as the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's been the one to push that 20-film plan to over $10B in worldwide box office.
    • Disney shares have declined 5.8% since Tuesday, but are flat today.
    • Now read Don't Let Disney's Recent Woes Deter You From The Stock »
    | Mon, May 16, 3:14 PM | 10 Comments
  • Wed, May 11, 10:33 AM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is off 4.2%, giving up a chunk of the past month's gains (it was up 10.8% since April 12), after yesterday saw the company's first earnings miss in more than two years.
    • Analysts have poured out updates today. Regarding the elephant in Disney's earnings room, ESPN, Piper Jaffray says the network wasn't the reason for weakness, and that ad sales are pacing up there (and scatter pricing is trending 20% above upfront levels at ABC). The firm's Stan Meyers maintains Disney at Overweight with a $120 price target.
    • Bernstein (Market Perform, $110 price target) suspects the stock may be caught in a range as estimates legged down again. Consumer products missed (though that may be a problem of systematically high forecasting, not a business problem, analyst Todd Juenger says) and a revenue slowdown at Parks may mainly be yield management -- which leaves (undisclosed) domestic affiliate fees as the key worry. They're liable to decelerate again in H2 as Time Warner Cable and Charter merge, Juenger says.
    • Deutsche Bank acknowledged a tough quarter but noted guidance wasn't as bad as it looked at first. Advertising outlook isn't related to the New Year's college football playoff timing that spurred a decline in Q2, and films and parks look like they can outperform expectations. Consumer products missed "pretty materially (18%)," but "Consumer Products & Interactive Media is an inherently volatile business from quarter to quarter." It's maintaining a Hold rating and $113 price target.
    • Topeka Capital Markets barely trimmed its price target (to $129 from $130) and rates the stock a Buy. Jefferies Group, meanwhile, reiterated its Hold and cut its price target further, to $92 from $101.05, noting "downside risk to Cable segment EBIT, tough Studio comps (F3Q should be another big quarter), and a deceleration in domestic Park EBIT growth in F17 and beyond."
    | Wed, May 11, 10:33 AM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, May 11, 9:12 AM
    | Wed, May 11, 9:12 AM
  • Tue, May 10, 5:43 PM
    • Last summer, with trouble brewing at ESPN, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger took the subject head-on at the very beginning of the company's earnings call. This afternoon, it's all about the wild success in Filmed Entertainment and upcoming Shanghai park launch that led off a relatively brief set of prepared remarks, rather than the sports network or who takes over for its departed COO (and what that means for Iger's departure).
    • With the call still under way, shares are now down 5.3% in after-hours trade following the earnings miss.
    • Disney became the fastest ever to $1B at the domestic box office -- hitting it last weekend in just 128 days, beating last year's record (Universal, in 165 days), with the help of the all-time fifth-best opening, by Captain America: Civil War.
    • But at ESPN, ad revenue fell 13%. Iger declined to give numbers on over-the-top deals when it comes to Sling TV and Sony, but "we anecdotally were told that after ESPN was included in their package, they saw a very encouraging trend in sign-ups." He added that he doesn't believe getting into Hulu distribution will affect current distribution relationships.
    • As for the surprising exit of Iger's heir apparent, COO Thomas Staggs, Iger says "we're sorry what came to pass," but "I will remind people that I have just over two years left" as CEO, the board is very actively engaged in succession planning, and "I don't currently have any plans to extend beyond the June [2018] expiration date."
    | Tue, May 10, 5:43 PM | 13 Comments
  • Tue, May 10, 5:37 PM
    | Tue, May 10, 5:37 PM
  • Tue, May 10, 5:08 PM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is now down 6.6% after hours as its earnings call gets under way. Along with its earnings miss, the company is shuttering its videogame publishing unit.
    • Disney is taking a $147M charge against earnings to put an end to its Infinity-branded "toys-to-life" console business.
    • Revenues in Consumer Products and Interactive Media, a division which the company merged last year, had fallen 2% this quarter to $1.19B.
    • The company launched Infinity in summer 2013, following on success by Activision Blizzard and its Skylanders toys-to-life products, and promised to fill it with buyable characters from Disney animation, Star Wars and Marvel properties.
    • Updated: Disney says it will still release Infinity playsets/characters for Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory later this month and in June.
    | Tue, May 10, 5:08 PM | 16 Comments
  • Tue, May 10, 4:26 PM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is sliding after hours, now down 6.3%, following its first miss on earnings in more than two years.
    • The company fell short of expectations on revenues as well as profits, which grew just $35M to $2.1B total, as the film division is going gangbusters but its biggest business (Networks) was flat in revenue thanks to cable declines, and consumer products sales fell.
    • Revenues by segment: Media Networks, $5.79B (down fractionally); Parks and Resorts, $3.93B (up 4%); Studio Entertainment, $2.06B (up 22%); Consumer Products and Interactive Media, $1.19B (down 2%).
    • Operating income grew in all segments except Consumer Products and Interactive Media, where it dropped 8% to $357M. Operating income grew 9% in Media Networks, to $2.3B.
    • Conference call to come at 5 p.m. ET.
    • Press Release
    | Tue, May 10, 4:26 PM | 105 Comments
  • Tue, May 10, 4:18 PM
    • Walt Disney  (NYSE:DIS): FQ2 EPS of $1.36 misses by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $12.97B (+4.1% Y/Y) misses by $220M.
    • Shares -6%.
    • Press Release
    | Tue, May 10, 4:18 PM | 53 Comments
  • Tue, May 10, 11:42 AM
    • A 2015 breach of contract suit filed by ESPN (DIS +0.7%) against Verizon (VZ +0.9%) has been settled after a few months of negotiations.
    • Terms of the settlement are confidential. The companies issued a terse statement looking forward to continuing to work together.
    • ESPN sued in April 2015 after Verizon introduced a new "skinny" FiOS plan that gave its customers the chance to picks a small set of customized channels, but pushed ESPN into a separately purchased tier.
    • Meanwhile, yet another Disney earnings report (set for after the bell today) will have investor eyes on ESPN performance, the stock's primary headwind since a disappointment last summer in subscribers and corresponding affiliate fees.
    • Now read Hedging Disney Ahead Of Earnings »
    | Tue, May 10, 11:42 AM | 6 Comments
  • Mon, May 9, 5:35 PM
  • Mon, May 9, 3:45 PM
    • Captain America: Civil War met some already strong expectations in its U.S. debut, providing some good news for Disney (NYSE:DIS) ahead of its earnings tomorrow.
    • The superhero sequel (actually the first film of "Phase 3" in what has been a 20-film plan for the Marvel Cinematic Universe) opened with $181.8M, the fifth-biggest domestic opening ever, soaking up almost all the domestic box office dollars -- and Disney got much of the rest, as the No. 2 film was The Jungle Book, with $21.9M.
    • Those two finished ahead of Open Road's Mother's Day ($9M), The Huntsman: Winter's War (CMCSA, $3.6M) and Keanu (TWX, $3.1M).
    • Civil War had opened overseas before its U.S. launch, and so with its additional weekend added in to the strong domestic opening, the film has already made $675.8M worldwide.
    • It helped Disney become the fastest studio ever to cross the $1B box-office mark on the calendar. Whereas 2015 was Universal's year to lose by this point, 2016 is turning out to be the Year of the Mouse so far.
    • Now read Disney Vs. DreamWorks Showdown »
    | Mon, May 9, 3:45 PM | 36 Comments
  • Wed, May 4, 11:27 AM
    • In its Newfronts presentation, Hulu confirmed its intentions to start streaming live feeds of broadcast and cable networks by early next year, a departure from its on-demand present.
    • CEO Mike Hopkins says the plan is to create a "deeply personalized experience" that merges linear TV and on-demand video. “This means our viewers will be able to enjoy live sports, news and events…in real time without a traditional cable or satellite subscription."
    • That also means more investment in original programming, a hot market where it's competing with and Netflix, not to mention a large variety of broadcast and cable channels for viewer attention.
    • Hulu -- co-owned by Disney (DIS +0.2%), Comcast (CMCSA +0.4%) and Fox (FOX +0.7%, FOXA +0.7%) -- said it will hit 12M subscribers by the end of the month (vs. Netflix's March total of 47M) after growing its U.S. base 33% over the past year.
    • Now read Disney: Who Says This Old Mouse Can't Learn New Tricks »
    | Wed, May 4, 11:27 AM | 13 Comments
  • Tue, May 3, 12:27 PM
    • Vice Media and ESPN are forging a deeper relationship, sharing content and teaming up to make sports programming as both chase elusive youth audiences.
    • In program swapping, ESPN's short documentary series 30 for 30 will re-air on Viceland, Vice Media's new 24-hour TV channel, while edited versions of Vice World of Sports will appear on ESPN platforms, including digital channels.
    • The two will work together on short-form series -- likely personality-focused and in keeping with Vice's "outside the mainstream" branding -- as well as a short animated series.
    • ESPN parent Disney (DIS -0.8%) has become the largest outside stakeholder in Vice after investing about $400M last fall to add an additional 9% stake onto its investment through A&E Networks (jointly owned by Disney, helping run Viceland, and holding its own 15% Vice stake).
    • Now read Disney: Who Says This Old Mouse Can't Learn New Tricks »
    | Tue, May 3, 12:27 PM | 2 Comments
Company Description
The Walt Disney Co. is a diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise. It operates through five business segments: Media Networks, Parks & Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive Media. The Media Networks segment is comprised of a domestic... More
Sector: Services
Industry: Entertainment - Diversified
Country: United States