The Walt Disney Company (DIS) - NYSE
  • Mon, Apr. 18, 10:01 AM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) has popped 2.4% in the first minutes today after an upgrade by Pivotal Research, and following another in a string of strong box office debuts.
    • Pivotal upgraded to Buy from Hold, and raised its price target from $104 to $121 -- implying 22.7% upside from Friday's closing price.
    • The company's reboot of The Jungle Book overwhelmed box-office competitors over the weekend, drawing $103.6M after opening in more than 4,000 theaters -- more than $83M more than its nearest film competition.
    • Last week, JPMorgan Chase reiterated its Buy rating and $118 target on shares.
    • Now read Disney Park Activist Play With 200% Return Potential »
    | Mon, Apr. 18, 10:01 AM | 19 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 18, 7:43 AM
    • Piper Jaffray recently completed its semi-annual teen survey. The firm asked high school students how they currently rent movies and how they expect to rent movies in the future.
    • Key takeaways: 1. 61% indicated they use download/streaming to rent movies today. 2. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was the most popular service for renting movies currently, with 64%, well ahead of competing services from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Hulu (Comcast, Fox, Disney) at 4% and 3%, respectively. 3. Netflix topped the list of movie services that teens expect to use the most over the next five years. Its biggest streaming competitors Amazon and Hulu garnered 6% and 5% respectively, with Redbox (NASDAQ:OUTR) slipping to 8% from 10% for fall-15.
    • "We are confident in continued domestic growth for Netflix given popularity in the teen demographic. Maintain Overweight and $122 price target." Implied upside 9%.
    • Netflix reports today after the close.
    • Now read Netflix's Pie In The Sky Valuation »
    | Mon, Apr. 18, 7:43 AM | 32 Comments
  • Sun, Apr. 17, 10:13 PM
    • Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is going monthly with a stand-alone option for its Prime Video -- amping the competitive stakes with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to a high pitch, not to mention Hulu.
    • Prime Video was previously offered as a value-add to Amazon's $99/year Prime membership, which offers free two-day shipping on products. Now, the retail giant is undercutting Netflix prices with plans to offer customers a separate purchase for $8.99/month, a dollar less than Netflix's recently raised price for its most popular plan.
    • Along with stand-alone video, Amazon is also offering full Prime membership on a monthly basis, rather than the annual payment. Customers can join in for $10.99/month with no annual commitment, meaning they can still save 25% by paying for the full year at once.
    • Hulu -- co-owned by Disney (NYSE:DIS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Fox (FOX, FOXA) -- offers its limited commercials plan for $7.99/month, and a no-commercials plan for $11.99/month.
    • Now read Netflix's Pie In The Sky Valuation »
    | Sun, Apr. 17, 10:13 PM | 70 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 15, 4:25 PM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is taking another step into direct-to-consumer content, with a Re/code report saying it's in advanced talks with Major League Baseball's streaming company to take an equity stake in its video tech business.
    • Far from handling just baseball games, MLB Advanced Media (jointly owned by the 30 baseball teams) has branched out to handle video streaming for a number of big clients, including running Disney's own WatchESPN.
    • Disney would take a stake in BAM Tech, which MLBAM has considered for a spinoff.
    • An ownership stake may be a signal that Disney wants a bigger interest in any technology that it could use to go over-the-top, as it's currently piloting in the UK with DisneyLife.
    • Last week, BTIG's Rich Greenfield suggested that with a "struggling" DisneyLife UK business, Disney could boost its cred in on-demand video and get its next chief executive to boot by buying Netflix.
    • Now read Disney: Look Here For Growth »
    | Fri, Apr. 15, 4:25 PM | 14 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 13, 5:45 PM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) gained 2.2% and hit its highest point this month on no particular news, but on a day when it rolled out a lengthy clip from animation anchor Finding Dory to wrap a presentation at CinemaCon.
    • The studio showed the first 27 minutes of the sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo, along with a number of recent trailers (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The BFG, Doctor Strange) and the finished Captain America: Civil War film.
    • Distribution chief Dave Hollis also voiced support for the traditional theatrical window ("Our commitment ... has never, ever been stronger") in the face of window-busting strategies including Sean Parker's The Screening Room, which offers a $50 price to see a movie in-home at the same time as its theatrical release.
    • The company's reboot of The Jungle Book is likely to do strong business in its U.S. debut this weekend.
    • Now read Disney Is In Good Hands »
    | Wed, Apr. 13, 5:45 PM | 28 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 11, 8:04 PM
    • It took late-Monday final numbers to decide it, but Melissa McCarthy and her new comedy The Boss knocked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (TWX -0.5%) out of the box-office lead in its third week.
    • The Boss (CMCSA -0.3%) projected on early Sunday to take the No. 1 spot by around $50,000 -- just a bit over one ticket per theater. With later numbers in, it drew $23.586M to the DC heroes' $23.363M, a $223,566 victory.
    • That's despite a "C+" audience CinemaScore and a low 17% positive score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Warner Bros. may not be especially sad, as Batman v Superman (battling its own poor reviews) has grossed a robust $296.6M domestically and $784.3M in worldwide totals in its three weeks in release.
    • Falling in behind those two: Zootopia (DIS -0.2%) grossed $14.35M to bring its cumulative domestic total to $296M and worldwide total to $852.5M; and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (NASDAQ:CMCSA) totaled $6.5M in its third week to hit $46.8M domestic, $70.8M worldwide.
    • Now read Disney May Be A Long-Term Gem At Current Prices »
    | Mon, Apr. 11, 8:04 PM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 8, 7:00 PM
    • Disney (DIS +0.3%) has run into a bit of a hurdle in its succession plan after Monday's surprise news that COO and likely CEO candidate Tom Staggs was leaving his post.
    • Observers speculate that the board didn't see the creative strength in Staggs that the company would need in a replacement for chief executive Bob Iger, planning to step down in two years. The company's also faced down woes over its TV business, both at broadcast net ABC as well as at ESPN.
    • BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield has the answer to both problems: Disney should buy Netflix (NFLX -0.6%).
    • Then it gets a future leader with a creative streak in Netflix's "visionary CEO" Reed Hastings, as well as a substantial established stake in on-demand video.
    • "Netflix is already a great friend of Disney," Greenfield says. "In fact, Iger has repeatedly acknowledged how they are in part responsible for Netflix’s success. Disney continues to sell more and more content to Netflix spanning movies and television series, while at the same time struggling to get their own direct-to-consumer content business off the ground in the UK."
    • But a deal would be huge. "Buying Netflix is an awfully expensive acquire, but it could be Disney’s only hope. Disney’s market cap is currently $157 billion and its enterprise value is $176 billion compared to Netflix’s $45 billion market cap and enterprise value."
    • Now read Did Disney's Board Get What It Wanted? »
    | Fri, Apr. 8, 7:00 PM | 91 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 8, 1:30 PM
    • RBC Capital is out with a big new report on the entertainment sector and a number of bullish ratings -- with Viacom (VIA -0.7%, VIAB -0.9%) a rare exception -- as the firm thinks cord-cutting fears have made some sector shares oversold.
    • "Many media stocks are now at recessionary-level discounts” compared to the S&P 500, the firm says, after Disney earnings last summer and related ESPN subscriber woes prompted a media sell-off.
    • Cord-cutting does present a challenge in winnowing stocks that can prosper in a world with more content choices, say Steven Cahall and Leo Kulp, but they expect big media companies to post EPS growth of about 9% this year after double-digit increases the past two years.
    • Reductions in EPS from current projections would be no more than 5% if subscriber losses accelerate, they write, with a notable exception at Viacom, which RBC rates a Sell and where that impact could be doubled.
    • Stocks getting Outperform ratings: CBS (CBS +0.7%), with a price target of $68 (implying 26% upside from current price); Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX +0.2%, FOXA +0.5%), with a FOXA price target of $35 (implying 22% upside); Time Warner (TWX +0.6%), with a price target of $92 (implying 25.5% upside); Discovery Communications (DISCA +0.5%), with a price target of $35 (implied 25% upside); and smaller Spanish-language firm Hemisphere Media Group (HMTV -0.9%), with a price target of $17, implying 33% upside.
    • Sector Perform ratings went to Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), with price target of $103 (7.1% upside); Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI +0.1%), with price target of $70 (7.3% upside); and Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF -1%), with price target of $22 (10% upside).
    • Now read HBO Versus Netflix: Here's A Crazy Idea »
    | Fri, Apr. 8, 1:30 PM | 8 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 7, 12:49 PM
    • Cablevision (CVC -0.6%), an early pioneer among pay-TV systems in embracing over-the-top services, is now offering Hulu as a dedicated cable TV channel.
    • That marks the first time that Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOX/FOXA) is available as a dedicated set-top box feed, accessible through the standard program guide. Competitor Netflix has been available via some pay-TV services for years.
    • Cablevision is offering it on its Optimum TV subscriptions on channel 605. It's not a linear feed -- it's on-demand content -- but it puts Hulu on more of an equal footing with premium cable nets for Cablevision customers.
    • Now read Is There An Opportunity In The Cablevision Acquisition? »
    | Thu, Apr. 7, 12:49 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 5, 3:29 PM
    • Comcast (CMCSA -0.3%) has set a licensing deal with Walt Disney (DIS -1.7%) that will make both library content and new titles available for purchase by Xfinity TV users.
    • The deal covers a wide swath of Disney content, including its eponymous label, Walt Disney Animation Studios (makers of Zootopia), Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disneynature and Touchstone Pictures.
    • It's launching with immediate availability of blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in standard and high definitions), and the coming weeks will see the offering fill out with classics as well as new Disney releases.
    • Comcast also joins as a participating retailer in Disney Movies Anywhere, a cloud-based "locker" that allows Disney customers to access purchased content across a variety of devices and platforms.
    • Now read Disney's Planned Movie And Theme Park Segments Will Boost Shareholder Returns »
    | Tue, Apr. 5, 3:29 PM | 4 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 4, 4:50 PM
    • Thomas Staggs -- chief operating officer at Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and heir apparent to succeed CEO Bob Iger -- has scrambled succession plans with a move to step down early in May, The New York Times reports.
    • Shares are down 1.3% after hours.
    • Staggs will leave his role on May 6, but remain employed by the company as an adviser to Iger through September.
    • The board might look outside for a successor now. Differences arose between Staggs and the board as they examined him for the chief role, sources said. The board will "broaden the scope of its succession planning process to identify and evaluate a robust slate of candidates for consideration," a company statement says.
    • Iger plans to step down from his role as chief executive and chairman in June 2018.
    • Staggs was widely assumed to have a clear path to take over for Iger after he was named COO in February 2015, and then CFO Jay Rasulo said he was stepping down last June.
    • Updated: Statement from Walt Disney
    • Now read Disney's Planned Movie And Theme Park Segments Will Boost Shareholder Returns »
    | Mon, Apr. 4, 4:50 PM | 63 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 4, 3:52 PM
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (TWX +0.8%) easily prevailed at the box office for its second weekend despite a falloff of near 70% in grosses from its debut.
    • Of course, a dropoff like that hurts less when you log a historic opening. The film grossed $52.4M for the weekend (down from $166M) to top Zootopia (DIS -0.4%), still going strong in its fifth week with $20M.
    • Batman v Superman now has $261.5M domestically and $682.9M worldwide. For its part, Zootopia has totaled $276M domsestically and $787.6M worldwide.
    • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (CMCSA -0.3%) fell off 38% from its opening week to draw $11.1M, slotting in just ahead of the week's biggest new film, God's Not Dead 2.
    • Now read Disney's Character-Driven Ecosystem Will Reverse Its Recent Lull And Start Disney Moving Back To New Highs »
    | Mon, Apr. 4, 3:52 PM | 9 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 1, 10:15 AM
    • Walt Disney (DIS -0.1%) is "still a premium story" but available at a discount, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says in reiterating its Buy rating.
    • Jessica Reif Cohen and team have a $130 price target, implying 31% upside.
    • Soft Media Networks ratings and pre-opening expenses for Shanghai Disney (along with a $75M writedown on The Finest Hours) will be offset for Q2 by continuing strong theatrical strength, the firm says, from Zootopia ($252.7M domestic gross so far; $718M worldwide) and more flow-through from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
    • The analysts raised estimates for fiscal Q2 EPS to $1.36 from $1.33 as Disney benefits from a lower tax rate, and to $5.85 from $5.82 for fiscal 2016. They're bullish on multi-year prospects, including not only Shanghai and a solid content pipeline but "all buttressed by stable Media Nets, healthy retrans and best-in-class Parks."
    • Cohen is ranked No. 775 out of 3,840 analysts on TipRanks.
    • Now read Disney's Character-Driven Ecosystem Will Reverse Its Recent Lull And Start Disney Moving Back To New Highs »
    | Fri, Apr. 1, 10:15 AM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 31, 4:31 PM
    • In its latest investment in digital platforms, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) has helped lead a $15M funding round for Playbuzz, a home for quizzes, slideshows, games and other entertainment content.
    • Most of the funding came from Disney and Saban Ventures, The Wall Street Journal reported.
    • That's a smaller investment than Disney's reported $200M put into Vice Media last year; but it's of a piece with media companies putting funding into digital platforms. Comcast invested $200M into BuzzFeed last year, and Disney and Fox invested in daily-fantasy company DraftKings. Earlier, Turner led a $15M round for Mashable.
    • Playbuzz also has digital partnerships with MTV, USA Today and Mashable, among many other publishers.
    • Now read Disney's Character-Driven Ecosystem Will Reverse Its Recent Lull And Start Disney Moving Back To New Highs »
    | Thu, Mar. 31, 4:31 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Mar. 28, 5:09 PM
    • It was a tale of two fortunes at the box office over a U.S. holiday weekend, with Warner Bros. reaping the benefits of a long-awaited superhero launch.
    • Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) rose 3.6% today as a critically panned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice still rolled to a $166.1M domestic gross and more than $424M globally. That's almost Warner's biggest domestic opening -- final numbers put it just behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- and the biggest domestic opening weekend ever in March (passing The Hunger Games' $152.5M).
    • The film's having no trouble selling tickets despite negative reviews: Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes still has the film about 29% positive reaction, and it's drawn an (audience-based) CinemaScore of a flat B -- with a B-minus coming form the males that are making up 62% of the film's clientele.
    • Meanwhile, Hunger Games studio Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF +1.6%) rose today despite a serious drop-off in receipts for its The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which drew just $9.5M in its second week ($46.6M cumulative). The film's proving a letdown, and there's still another sequel in that series, Ascendant, yet to come in summer 2017.
    • Behind the dueling heroes, Zootopia (DIS +0.9%) took second with $23.1M, bringing its domestic total to $240.5M, and a counterprogrammed My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (CMCSA +0.1%) logged $18.1M for the No. 3 spot.
    • Previously: IMAX scores big from Batman vs. Superman opening (Mar. 28 2016)
    • Previously: 'Batman v Superman' nails box office record (Mar. 28 2016)
    | Mon, Mar. 28, 5:09 PM | 4 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 28, 1:16 PM
    • It doesn't open until June 16, but first-day tickets to the new Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) theme park in Shanghai are sold out.
    • Those tickets were gone within hours of going on sale at midnight. And as of noon, rooms were fully booked at Shanghai Disney Resort's two on-site hotels for the first two weeks after opening.
    • Park tickets for June 17-Sept. 30 are available and range from 370 yuan (non-peak, about $57) to 499 yuan (peak, about $77). Non-peak tickets cost about 20% less than at Hong Kong Disneyland, though the Shanghai park is three times the size.
    • Revenue is likely to range from 24B yuan to 40B yuan a year ($3.7B-$6.2B/year), with up to 50M visitors each year.
    | Mon, Mar. 28, 1:16 PM | 40 Comments
Company Description
Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG), the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company, creates immersive, connected, interactive experiences across console, online, mobile and social network platforms to entertain and inform audiences
Sector: Services
Industry: Entertainment - Diversified
Country: United States