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The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

  • Dec. 22, 2014, 1:39 PM
    • DirecTV (DTV +0.7%) and Disney (DIS +1.3%) remain in negotiations over a long-term contract, almost three months after the expiration of a 10- year deal.
    • The role of TV Everywhere is major focus of talks between the two media companies.
    • Though no blackout of Disney channels on DirecTV is expected in the dispute, it's a different story with Dish Networks which pulled the plug on Fox News and Fox Business Network amid a contract scuffle.
  • Dec. 11, 2014, 2:28 PM
    • Nielsen reports that so-called digitals, what the company calls consumers aged between 12 and 24, saw 7.1 movies in theaters this year - compared to the 8.4 movies the group saw the previous year.
    • Moviegoers between the ages of 25 and 44 increased the number of theater trips this year to 8.1 from 7.7 in 2013.
    • No great surprise, but digitals increased the amount of content they streamed this year, including more full-length movies.
    • Perhaps of interest to studios (LGF, SNE, CMCSA, TWX, FOXA, DIS), a majority of digitals say they trust trailers and the opinions of friends over movie commercials aired on TV.
    • Full Nielsen report
    • Theater stocks: CKEC, AMC, CNK, RLD, IMAX, RDI, MCS.
  • Dec. 11, 2014, 7:21 AM
    • Cowen Research forecasts national TV advertising has been flat for the last two quarters on a slowing growth trend.
    • National TV advertising as a percentage of overall advertising has been falling.
    • Related stocks: CBS, TWX, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, AMCX, VIAB.
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  • Dec. 10, 2014, 3:58 PM
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger says the integration of Star Wars into the company's theme parks will be based on new sequels and spin-offs from the franchise, instead of the older generation of movies.
    • Iger notes the company purposefully resisted the temptation to push the Star Wars attractions out early in order to maintain a consistent branding.
    • Reaction to the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens - due out December 18, 2015 - has been extremely favorable.
  • Dec. 10, 2014, 10:32 AM
    • Topeka Capital Markets downgrades Disney (DIS -0.9%) to Hold from Buy on a valuation call after the stock's dynamic run.
    • The investment firm raises concerns on the impact of a strong U.S. dollar on Disney's Orlando-area park attendance from global tourists over the next two years.
    • Topeka sets a $97 price target on shares.
  • Dec. 4, 2014, 11:53 AM
    • There might be a little sweat on the brow of NFL owners as a new bill introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal takes dead aim at the permanent anti-trust exemption status enjoyed by the pro football league.
    • The powerful exemption has helped the value of NFL teams exceed most asset classes over the last two decades.
    • A hearing today of the Judiciary Committee includes debate on the topic and the league's handling of player scandals.
    • If the NFL were to lose the anti-trust exemption (still considered a long shot) - it would allow broadcasters to negotiate media deals piecemeal.
    • Escalating sports rights costs are a major consideration for CBS (NYSE:CBS), NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA), ESPN (NYSE:DIS), Turner (NYSE:TWX), and Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA).
  • Dec. 3, 2014, 4:12 PM
    • The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) declares $1.15/share annual dividend, 33.7% increase from prior dividend of $0.86.
    • Forward yield 1.24%
    • Payable Jan 8; for shareholders of record Dec. 15; ex-div Dec. 11.
  • Dec. 3, 2014, 7:43 AM
    • Americans decreased the amount of daily time spent watching TV by 4.4% Y/Y to 4 hours and 32 minutes in Q3, according to a new report from Nielsen.
    • The amount of time viewing video on the Internet and time-shifted content both rose during the quarter.
    • "What used to be a schedule to watch programming now seems like little more than a suggestion," observes Nielsen.
    • This year's upfront ad meetings saw flat sales for broadcast networks and a 6% decline in ad sales for cable networks.
    • Related stocks: NFLX, FOXA, CBS, CMCSA, DIS, SNE, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, DISCA, SNI.
  • Dec. 2, 2014, 5:06 PM
    • Shipments of Frozen merchandise are up 470% Y/Y for the August to October time period.
    • Overall shipments of toys were up 3% for the same time period.
    • Last year, toy sellers were caught short from the onslaught of holiday shoppers looking for Frozen toys.
    • Anecdotal reports from Black Friday indicated empty shelves for Frozen dolls, while Barbies had plenty of company.
    • What to watch: Demand for princess dolls, books, and apparel tied to the Disney (NYSE:DIS) movie has been strong all year - leading to expectations that a sequel movie will be developed by Disney to keep the franchise thriving for years. A payoff for Frozen 2 isn't factored into most long-term Disney earnings forecasts.
  • Dec. 1, 2014, 3:05 PM
    • ESPN (NYSE:DIS) will spend $3.8B on rights for major sports this year, according to an estimate from MoffettNathanson.
    • The sports network is expected to spend $5.1B by 2017 based on deals already locked in place.
    • Though ESPN is expected to see a 33% gain in revenue per pay-TV user to $8 by 2018 per a SNL Kagan estimate, some media analysts think the total number of pay-TV subscribers will fall over the period to cut into growth.
    • What to watch: The amount ESPN can extract from new over-the-top services from DirecTV, Sony, and other streamers for carriage fees could help bridge the gap if it's proven that cord-cutters can't live without their live sports access.
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  • Nov. 28, 2014, 10:55 AM
    • The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being played at movie theaters across the U.S. this weekend for the first time.
    • The Lucasfilm movie is slated to premiere on December 18, 2015 with a return of original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill.
    • Most analysts expect Disney (NYSE:DIS) to generate close to $1.2B-$1.3B in global box office receipts and +$700M in profit. The tally moves higher if consumer products, video games, and streaming rights are all fully factored in.
    • There's a vibrant debate on SA between Disney investors on how much of the Star Wars payoff is already baked into Disney trading at +$90 per share.
    • Star Wars YouTube channel
  • Nov. 28, 2014, 9:11 AM
    • Piper Jaffray identifies a few early winners from the extended Black Friday shopping period.
    • The investment firm thinks strong traffic at toy stores and a reigned-in level of promotional activity bodes well for Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT), and Jakks Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK).
    • Several shopping deal blogs have noted that early demand for Disney (NYSE:DIS) Frozen princess dolls has exceeded the lofty expectations set for the product.
    • Channel checks at U.S. retail outlets by Piper also found strong demand at beauty specialty stores. Ultra Salon (NASDAQ:ULTA) and Coty (NYSE:COTY) are tapped as two Thanksgiving-Black Friday winners.
  • Nov. 24, 2014, 10:36 AM
    • ESPN (NYSE:DIS) might stray outside the pay-TV bundle for the first time next year with a live streaming subscription service for the Cricket World Cup to be hosted in Australia and New Zealand, reports Re/code.
    • In the past, Disney (DIS) typically used EPSN3 as a streaming add-on for pay-TV subscribers.
    • Media analysts have speculated in the past that ESPN could peel off some of its programming into a PPV model.
  • Nov. 21, 2014, 11:12 AM
    • Disney (DIS) expands an existing partnership with Shanghai Media Group to include more production ventures.
    • Plans include more TV and film content designed exclusively for audiences in China.
    • Shanghai Media Group operates over 50 TV channels in the region.
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  • Nov. 21, 2014, 9:39 AM
    • Theme park operators see the need to dramatically increase the use of videogame experiences at their parks in order to entice teenagers away from their Xbox and PlayStation environments.
    • The concept of "immersion" will be added to many rides with 3-D backdrops, animatronics, and more chances to blast zombies.
    • Related stocks: SIX, FUN, SEAS, DIS, CMCSA, PLAY.
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  • Nov. 21, 2014, 7:41 AM
    • Aereo announces it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
    • The cloud-based broadcasting upstart won some significant legal and regulatory battles, but lost the major war with broadcasting giants (FOXA, CBS, CMCSA, DIS) in front of the Supreme Court.
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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.