Wed, Jul. 8, 3:21 PM
- Nomura says some tough comps are coming next month for Disney (DIS -1.3%), even if it still likes the stock overall.
- Last year's Q3 (ending in August) benefited from World Cup ad dollars, and consumer products are likely to be skewed to Q4 this year with Star Wars events coming in September and beyond, note analysts Anthony DiClemente and Benjamin Black.
- The two lowered their Q3 EPS estimate to $1.39, from $1.44 (vs. a consensus of $1.43). Their full-year forecast is unchanged and Nomura's price target on the stock of $125 implies an 8% upside from today's price.
- Frozen makes for tough comparisons both in consumer products and considering its Q3 international home entertainment release last year. And the pair expects that despite the success of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Inside Out, "given the soft Tomorrowland box office showing, we now expect the Frozen comp to more than offset theatrical. As such, we are lowering our F3Q15E Studio OI growth estimate to -19% YoY."
- Previously: Disney wins tax break in exchange for $1B theme park investment (Jul. 08 2015)
- Previously: Disney starts Playmation toy demos, preorders; stock at record high (Jul. 07 2015)
- Previously: 'Tomorrowland' leads a weaker holiday box office (May. 25 2015)
Tue, Jul. 7, 5:26 PM
- Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is giving in-store demos of its technology-laced Playmation toy line in North American stores this week, and has begun accepting preorders for the toys.
- The toys -- developed along with partner Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), and designed to interact with one another using infrared, Bluetooth and motion sensors and to encourage active play -- launch on Oct. 4 with a line based on Marvel's Avengers.
- The demos will be available through launch in Disney stores, including reserved 30-minute slots for a heavier orientation with the toys.
- Disney shares rose 1.2% today to reach a record high of $117.19. Earlier today, Atlantic Securities upgraded Disney stock to Overweight.
- And in Star Wars news, a spinoff film focused on a young Han Solo is planned for May 25, 2018, with Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (the directing team behind The Lego Movie and the 21 Jump Street films) attached to direct.
- Previously: Disney unveils high-tech, active-play Playmation toys (Jun. 02 2015)
Tue, Jun. 30, 2:08 PM
- Walt Disney (DIS +1.5%) has chosen Treasurer Christine McCarthy as the new CFO, succeeding Jay Rasulo, and tapped Kevin Mayer as its chief strategy officer.
- McCarthy will report directly to CEO Bob Iger, while Mayer will report jointly to Iger and COO Thomas Staggs.
- As the firm's CFO, McCarthy will have responsibility now for Investor Relations, Corporate Planning and Control, Tax, Corporate Treasury, Corporate Real Estate, Facilities, Integrated Supply Chain Management, and Corporate Citizenship.
Wed, Jun. 24, 5:04 PM
- Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is up 0.4% after hours as it switches up its annual dividend for a semi-annual one -- of $0.66 -- and raises it 15% (on an annualized basis).
- It's not a tremendous yield at just over 1%, but longer-term investors may be glad to see a new frequency as well as the bump.
- "Disney delivered significant increases in revenue, net income and EPS for the first half of fiscal 2015," says Chairman/CEO Bob Iger. "We are pleased to raise our dividend 15% on an annualized basis, as well as increasing the frequency of our dividend payments."
- Previously: 'Inside Out' has Disney investors head over heels with new high (Jun. 22 2015)
- Related: Disney Is Breaking Out To New Highs (Jun. 24 2015)
Tue, Jun. 23, 12:51 PM
- Marvel (DIS +0.6%) and Sony (SNE +1.4%) have made their major casting decision for a high-stakes set of films by tapping English actor Tom Holland (The Impossible, Locke) as the latest Spider-Man.
- The move was an eagerly anticipated decision as the companies look to another reboot of the popular character (this time set in high school) for two stand-alone films in 2017 -- the first directed by Jon Watts, and set to bow July 28, 2017 -- as well as a debut appearance in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War.
- Spider-Man was previously portrayed by Tobey Maguire in three films directed by Sam Raimi, and Andrew Garfield in two Amazing Spider-Man films directed by Marc Webb.
- “For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special," says Sony's motion-picture chairman, Tom Rothman. "All in all, we are off to a roaring start."
- The move follows February's deal between Sony and Marvel to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel universe, a move long awaited by fans. Sony is hoping for a reinvigoration of the franchise after last year's Amazing Spider-Man 2 drew "only" $708M worldwide.
Mon, Jun. 22, 6:22 PM
- Inside Out was the first feature film by Disney unit Pixar that didn't lead the box office in its opening weekend -- that's a lucrative history that dates from 1995's Toy Story, through Finding Nemo, Up, Brave, and a couple of Toy Story sequels -- but its killer weekend helped push Disney (NYSE:DIS) to a new 52-week high.
- Shares reached the new high of $114.47 before settling to finish up 0.9% at $113.55.
- Inside Out's $91M was the highest opening ever for an original (non-sequel or adapted) story, and it exceeded some optimistic Disney thinking for $60M-$70M. The success is more impressive considering it's a tough sell (animated emotions inside the head of a child) up against youth-friendly dinosaurs. (Inside Out might have fared better against Fifty Shades of Grey).
- It's Disney's second major success this summer after Avengers: Age of Ultron (Inside Out just passed Tomorrowland). Next up: more Marvel in July with Ant-Man.
- The company just scheduled its fiscal Q3 results for a 4:15 p.m. release on Tuesday, Aug. 4, with a conference call to follow at 5 p.m. that day.
- Previously: 'Inside Out,' 'Jurassic World' both score in huge weekend (Jun. 22 2015)
- Previously: FBR: 'Inside Out' a nice midline project for Disney (Jun. 19 2015)
- Related: Illustrating My Fair Value On The Walt Disney Company (Jun. 16 2015)
Wed, Jun. 3, 3:50 PM
- Activision Blizzard (ATVI +1.6%) is extending its popular $3B Skylanders game/toy franchise -- with 20 vehicles.
- Skylanders Superchargers adds land, sky and sea vehicles to let players race through various terrain and environments along with 20 new characters. The game is out Sept. 20.
- Activision's getting increasing competition in this toys-to-life genre it pioneered, not only with Disney's Infinity (NYSE:DIS) and Nintendo's Amiibo (OTCPK:NTDOY), but also Lego, planning a game where players' real-life brick creations can be played inside the videogame.
- While Disney and Nintendo have a stable of characters to draw on, Activision may need new "hooks" (like vehicles) with each release since its characters are original creations.
- Activision reported that (including toys) Skylanders was the No. 1 console franchise and title globally in Q1 and outsold the No. 1 action figure line globally.
- Toys-to-life needs something new, though; trailing-12-months sales in the category grew just 2% in Q1 vs. 45% a year earlier.
Tue, May 5, 9:07 AM
- Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) gained 2.5% premarket on a fiscal Q2 beat on top and bottom lines boosted by strength in its theme park and media units, as its filmed entertainment results took a bit of a breather before the release of a new Avengers film.
- Earnings totaled $2.1B and EPS was up 11% on a non-GAAP basis to $1.23. EBITDA of $3.9B beat an expected $3.73B.
- Revenue by segment: Media Networks, $5.8B (up 13%); Parks and Resorts, $3.76B (up 6%); Studio Entertainment, $1.69B (down 6%); Consumer Products, $971M (up 10%); Interactive, $235M (down 12%).
- In the Media Networks space, Cable Networks revenue was up 11% to $4.03B and Broadcasting revenues up a solid 19% to $1.78B. Operating income slipped 9% at ESPN due to higher programming/production costs, but ad revenues lifted operating income at Broadcasting 90%, to $302M.
- Parks and Resorts operating income was up 24% to $566M mainly due to increases in guest spending and volumes.
- Free cash flow of $2.01B was up 10% Y/Y.
- Conference call at 9:30 a.m. ET.
- Press release
Tue, May 5, 8:04 AM
Fri, May 1, 4:11 PM
- Avengers: Age of Ultron pulled a robust $27.6M in its Thursday night previews to presage what could be a record weekend for the Disney (DIS +1.7%) tentpole.
- Other than a few small dramas and indie films in limited openings, the weekend calendar is clear for superhero domination as the new Avengers heads to 4,276 screens in North America. The first film in the series, The Avengers, drew a record $207.4M in its first weekend, and it had logged $18.7M on its Thursday night.
- As for one-day totals, the new film's Thursday mark of $27.6M was short of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2's $43.5M, but ahead of Furious 7's $15.8M.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in half its international markets last weekend. Combined with last night's total, the worldwide box office total comes to just under $315M, a number to rise by a considerable percentage come Monday. The film was tracking 44% ahead of its predecessor in global receipts.
- Previously: Disney upgraded to Buy at Guggenheim ahead of 'Avengers' (Apr. 27 2015)
Mon, Apr. 6, 10:59 AM
- Furious 7 exceeded all expectations and smashed an April box-office record with a $143.6M weekend -- and big international receipts of $204.4M (from 10,500 screens in 63 territories) point to a massive winner for Universal (CMCSA +0.5%).
- Notably for a sequel -- where follow-ups usually do a fraction of the first film's business -- the newest entry got the biggest opening weekend of the seven-film series. And it has a relatively clear path to hundreds of millions more before May 1 brings the competition of a new Avengers.
- Home, the sole 2015 release from DreamWorks Animation (DWA +1.7%), held up well in its second weekend with $27.4M, for a two-week total of $95.6M.
- Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard (NYSE:TWX) took third place with $12.9M ($57M total gross), while Cinderella (DIS; $10.3M; $167.3M total) and Insurgent (LGF; $10M; $103.4M total) were fourth and fifth.
- Previously: Box office sales and in-theater spending trending strong (Apr. 05 2015)
- Previously: Holiday movie weekend: Universal to get 'Furious' opening (Apr. 03 2015)
Mon, Mar. 30, 9:52 AM
- DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) is up 8.2% after Home -- its only film release for 2015 -- led the weekend box office and beat its own expectations with $54M, the company's third-largest non-sequel opening.
- Following a series of flops for DWA, the film was expected to draw about $30M-$35M.
- Home is another standout child-focused success in a year filled with adult fare so far. R-rated prison comedy Get Hard (NYSE:TWX) took the No. 2 spot, drawing $34.6M.
- Insurgent (NYSE:LGF) and Cinderella (NYSE:DIS) followed those two, adding to their considerable takes with $22M and $17.5M respectively. New foreign markets joined Cinderella, pushing it to more than $300M globally, and Insurgent has made $180M worldwide.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service is a hit with legs for Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), plugging away at sixth place this week (its seventh) with $3M, and passing $300M globally.
- Previously: DreamWorks up 7.7%, on two-day surge as planning takes shape (Mar. 04 2015)
Wed, Mar. 18, 1:39 PM
- Sony (SNE +3.9%) has launched its PlayStation Vue streaming video service in three cities, with a starting price of $50/month.
- It's been testing the service since November and had planned to launch this month in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia for PlayStation 3 and 4 users, though the price and lineup were open (and vital) questions. The service will spread to other cities and to iPads soon.
- Overall the service features more than 85 channels, though the $50 package has some 50 stations and $60/month and $70/month packages add local sports and music/lifestyle/family channels respectively.
- The lineup features content from three of the big four (CBS, Fox, NBC) as well as stations from Discovery, Scripps, Turner and Viacom. AMC content will join from April.
- Disney (NYSE:DIS) -- and its popular content from ABC, ESPN and Disney cable -- is still a glaring omission. Sony VP Eric Lempel says more content deals are in progress.
- The interface features time-shifting for the last three days of "popular programming," which might give it a leg up on Sling TV's (NASDAQ:DISH) limited capability there.
- The price is raising eyebrows, as it's competing with Sling TV's $20/month price point (but with more content). "Sony has built the Cadillac plan of Internet TV: It's big, it's shiny and it's expensive," says Jason Abbruzzese.
- Previously: Report: Sony talking with Disney about PlayStation Vue inclusion (Feb. 10 2015)
Thu, Mar. 12, 6:17 PM
- Disney (DIS +4.2%) thrilled shareholders at its annual meeting with movie news about some of its most valuable recent properties. The company filled in details on its high-expectations Star Wars plans: After the seventh core film coming out this December, Star Wars: Episode VIII will come out May 26, 2017, and be written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper).
- The first spinoff film will be called Rogue One, star recent Oscar nominee Felicity Jones and come out in December 2016.
- A confirmation that Frozen 2 is on the way should mean another ringing of the box-office registers. The first film grossed more than $1B globally.
- Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) -- with a line of Frozen merchandise -- finished today up 4.2%; Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), which will sell related dolls next year, finished up 1.3%.
- In preliminary votes, all 10 on Disney's board won re-election, and shareholders supported the vote on executive compensation.
- Shareholders agreed with the board in rejecting a proposal regarding selecting an independent board chairman.
- Previously: Gathering for annual meeting, Disney up 2.9% (Mar. 12 2015)
Thu, Mar. 12, 11:39 AM
- Disney (NYSE:DIS) is up +2.9% as it kicks off its annual meeting in San Francisco, flush with recent success in earnings and building momentum around its media properties.
- The stock's on the move following CEO Bob Iger's appearance on Mad Money last night: "The most bullish I've seen him," says host Jim Cramer, pointing to developments in Star Wars and Marvel films, including a highly anticipated Avengers sequel opening May 1, not to mention a live-action Cinderella coming this weekend.
- "Tentpole, tentpole, tentpole, tentpole -- they have so many brands, they remind me of Procter & Gamble 20 years ago," Cramer says.
- Iger spoke about park technology investments, including a wristband that serves as an attraction ticket that also lets visitors make reservations for rides, and expressed optimism about next year's park opening in Shanghai.
- Among his "5 things to watch," Mark Calvey notes shareholders looking for any sign of a split, and a tough vote on splitting the Chairman/CEO roles.
- The new Cinderella film is expected to lead the box office and should get a boost from a seven-minute short featuring another Disney cash cow brand, Frozen.
Tue, Feb. 3, 4:24 PM
- Disney (NYSE:DIS) posts a huge beat of $1.27 (up 27%) on a record $13.39B in revenues, higher even than the top range of expectations for its fiscal Q1.
- Lots of strength in segment revenues: Media Networks up 11% to $5.86B; Parks and Resorts up 9% to $3.91B; Studio Entertainment down 2% to $1.86B; Consumer Products up 22% to $1.38B; Interactive down 5% to $384M.
- While revenues were off in Studio Entertainment and Interactive, operating income rose in both, 33% and 36% respectively.
- Free cash flow of $857M is up 55% from the prior year.
- Shares up 3.2% after hours, following today's 2.4% gain in the regular session.
- Press release
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.
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