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The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

  • Sat, Jul. 4, 3:36 PM
    • The halfway point of 2015 has come for film studios, and fireworks are popping at Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), as its Universal Pictures continues to ring up a banner year.
    • Through last weekend, Universal leads studios in domestic grosses with just short of $1.38B. That's good for 25% market share, lifted by the runaway success of Jurassic World ($500M domestic), Furious 7 ($351M), and nicely performing Pitch Perfect 2 ($181M) and Fifty Shades of Grey ($166M).
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) recently set their own record times to the $1B domestic mark. Disney, with $1.08B domestic, has a 19.7% market share marked by Avengers: Age of Ultron ($452.5M), Cinderella ($200.3M) and Inside Out ($185M and counting), while Warner Bros., with $1.02B, has an 18.5% market share chiefly due to American Sniper ($348.8M).
    • Universal's domestic grosses are running up 138% from last year's pace at this point, while Disney's are up 37% and Warner Bros. up 16.7%.
    • Sony (SNE; $218.7M) and Paramount (VIA, VIAB; $276.6M) are working with smaller film slates so far, with just four and three films out respectively, compared to Universal's nine, Disney's seven, and Warner's 13. Fox (FOX, FOXA; $641M gross) is running fourth so far with seven films.
    • Key films ready to take their turn this summer: Paramount's Terminator: Genisys and Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation, Warner's Magic Mike XXL and Universal's Minions.
    | Sat, Jul. 4, 3:36 PM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 1, 7:21 PM
    • Shoving its way onto the cordless-streaming bus today is Lifetime, the movie-of-the-week-focused channel owned by A&E (NYSE:DIS).
    • The "Lifetime Movie Club" will offer a streaming selection of 30 movies for $3.99/month with no pay-TV required. Films will rotate every week, and only library content is available, not live television.
    • Lifetime has been cautious about licensing its favorites to other over-the-top services. Of a library of about 300 films, about 10-20 are available on Netflix.
    • Going their own way rather than licensing to a bigger player will give Lifetime more control over the branding experience and may provide more valuable viewer data than it would get otherwise.
    | Wed, Jul. 1, 7:21 PM | 11 Comments
  • 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.
    | Tue, Jun. 30, 2:08 PM | 4 Comments
  • Mon, Jun. 29, 2:30 PM
    • Walt Disney (DIS -1.2%) says it's combining its consumer products and interactive divisions, in a marketplace "increasingly influenced by technology."
    • The new group -- Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media -- will be run by co-chairs, Leslie Ferraro (consumer products president) and Jimmy Pitaro (interactive president).
    • The move will mean sharing expertise across two divisions that Disney feels have become shaped by providing key interactive experiences.
    • A new team, DCPI Labs, will report to the two co-chairs to that end. Children's-book division Disney Publishing Worldwide will also report to the new unit.
    • The businesses will be reported as one segment at the beginning of fiscal 2016.
    | Mon, Jun. 29, 2:30 PM | 10 Comments
  • Mon, Jun. 29, 11:10 AM
    • Jurassic World (CMCSA -0.9%) was again king at the box office, logging its third straight week at the top and becoming the fifth-highest grossing domestic release of all time.
    • The picture with dino legs marked $54.2M, edging the $52.1M earned by Inside Out (DIS -0.7%), no slouch in its second week. Pixar's family film has $185M in cumulative domestic grosses.
    • Thoughts of Ted 2 (NASDAQ:CMCSA) challenging those two with its debut went up in smoke as the film drew $32.9M, some $15M less than expected, and down from its predecessor Ted's $54M opening.
    • Jurassic World crossed the $500M domestic-gross line in record time.
    • Another debut, military-dog story Max (TWX -0.4%), drew $12.2M to finish fourth behind Ted 2.
    | Mon, Jun. 29, 11:10 AM | 5 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 26, 7:18 PM
    • A short 8-K amendment filed by Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) notes that CFO Jay Rasulo -- who was set to leave his role on June 30 -- will continue at the same salary (and bonuses) as adviser to CEO Bob Iger.
    • That means he could earn $5.4M in the coming year. He was reported to have a $1.75M base compensation along with $3.42M in restricted stock awards. Last year he earned another $11M in bonuses, for a total of $16.2M.
    • He was already set to help with transition to a new CFO, who hasn't yet been named.
    • Rasulo was once considered to be a contender as Iger's replacement at CEO, though the promotion of Tom Staggs to COO in February made Staggs the most likely heir.
    • Previously: Disney's CFO, a CEO contender, steps down (Jun. 01 2015)
    • Previously: Disney names COO, likely CEO successor in Staggs (Feb. 05 2015)
    | Fri, Jun. 26, 7:18 PM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 26, 10:38 AM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is looking at a deal with the city of Anaheim, Calif., that would extend protections from a potential entertainment tax in return for a promise to invest $1B in Disneyland by the end of 2024.
    • Disney has a tax deal with the city that dates to 1996, and a new deal would run 30 years and replace it. Disney would also get tax relief for an additional 15 years if it invested an additional $500M.
    • Anaheim's city council meets July 7 to consider a resolution. It doesn't have an entertainment tax now, but if it created one, the proposed deal would reimburse Disney.
    • Previously: Disney polls guests on demand-priced park ticket scheme (May. 28 2015)
    • Previously: Disneyland to expand in lieu of third Anaheim park (Mar. 13 2015)
    | Fri, Jun. 26, 10:38 AM | 16 Comments
  • Thu, Jun. 25, 9:19 PM
    • Inside Out (but not only that film) has helped power Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) past the $1B mark in domestic box office in record time this year, just 174 days in.
    • That beats Disney's previous record of 188 days, and it's the 19th time that Disney has grossed at least $1B at home.
    • Along with hit Inside Out, Avengers: Age of Ultron has pulled the most weight ($450.5M domestic, $1.37B worldwide), while a live-action Cinderella has brought in just shy of $200M in North America.
    • It's a great 2015 so far (and with Star Wars still on the horizon), second only to Universal's year.
    • On the downside, the studio may be facing a $140M writedown on Tomorrowland, an production that has drawn just $88.8M domestically despite reportedly costing a hefty $190M.
    • Previously: Disney up 0.4% after 15% dividend bump (Jun. 24 2015)
    • Previously: 'Inside Out' has Disney investors head over heels with new high (Jun. 22 2015)
    • Previously: 'Inside Out,' 'Jurassic World' both score in huge weekend (Jun. 22 2015)
    | Thu, Jun. 25, 9:19 PM | 17 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 24, 5:43 PM
    • ESPN (NYSE:DIS) has made DraftKings its official daily fantasy sports provider, and will integrate it into its digital sites and TV programming, but it looks like it's in lieu of Disney's planned $250M investment in the firm.
    • DraftKings had looked to raise funds from Disney but will seek more investment elsewhere. The firm is reportedly ready to raise a large round from other strategic investors.
    • Disney's plan had valued DraftKings around $900M.
    • With DraftKings having exclusive rights to advertise fantasy sports on ESPN properties starting next year, it's still a blow to rival (and Comcast-backed) FanDuel, which was to retain rights to advertise on ESPN in the April deal.
    • After hours: Disney up 0.5%.
    | Wed, Jun. 24, 5:43 PM | 10 Comments
  • 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)
    | Wed, Jun. 24, 5:04 PM | 24 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 24, 4:25 PM
    • Walt Disney  (NYSE:DIS) declares $0.66/share semi-annual dividend, 14.8% increase from prior dividend of $0.575 (Annual adjusted).
    • Forward yield 1.16%
    • Payable July 29; for shareholders of record July 6; ex-div July 1.
    • The company has changed dividend payable policy from annually to semi-annual.
    | Wed, Jun. 24, 4:25 PM | 27 Comments
  • Tue, Jun. 23, 2:26 PM
    • And in news of re-bundling, Hulu says it's offering subscribers the chance to add in Showtime (NYSE:CBS).
    • The move will come in early July in time for Showtime's big season-premiere period (Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex), around which Showtime is targeting its rollout of its over-the-top service.
    • But it will cost Hulu subscribers $8.99/month -- that atop their existing $7.99/month for Hulu's paid service. It's an appealing price point in comparison to Showtime's stand-alone price ($10.99/month) and, notably, even its price through Time Warner Cable ($9.99/month).
    • It's the first time that Hulu -- co-owned by NBCUniversal, Disney and Fox (CMCSA, DIS, FOXA) -- has teamed up with a premium channel or other streaming service.
    • For its part, Showtime adds Hulu to Apple, Sony and Roku as outlets for its stand-alone offering.
    • Previously: Streaming Showtime coming to Roku, PlayStation Vue for July launch (Jun. 08 2015)
    • Previously: CBS sets streaming Showtime offering for July launch on Apple devices (Jun. 03 2015)
    | Tue, Jun. 23, 2:26 PM | Comment!
  • 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.
    | Tue, Jun. 23, 12:51 PM | 7 Comments
  • 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)
    | Mon, Jun. 22, 6:22 PM | 17 Comments
  • Mon, Jun. 22, 10:46 AM
    • Inside Out (NYSE:DIS) didn't lead the box office -- the first Pixar film not to do so in its debut weekend -- but there was plenty to go around for it and Jurassic World (NASDAQ:CMCSA), which led a big weekend at theaters for a second week, with $102M in receipts.
    • Disney's animated exploration of emotions drew $91M (beyond high-end expectations) in a weekend of milestones. That total was the highest for an original (non-sequel or adaptation) film. Jurassic World became the first film to draw more than $100M in two separate weekends.
    • The two didn't leave much oxygen for another debut, Open Road's Dope, which was fifth with $6M. Spy (FOX, FOXA) was third with $10.5M (cumulative domestic total: $74.4M) and San Andreas (NYSE:TWX) fourth with $8.2M (cumulative $132.2M).
    | Mon, Jun. 22, 10:46 AM | 7 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 19, 4:48 PM
    • Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Inside Out -- an animated journey into a young girl's emotions -- opens this weekend, and is projected to fall short of dethroning Jurassic World in its second weekend. But that doesn't mean it can't join a stable of solid Mouse House moneymakers, FBR's senior analyst says.
    • "You're not going to sell Inside Out toys," says Barton Crockett. "But I think at the end of the day, these guys will make good money on this. I think it will contribute $100M-$150M to the bottom line when all is said and done."
    • Crockett's not alone, though, in focusing attention on Disney's workhorse properties of Star Wars and Marvel franchises: "I think their studio profits are going to go up from about $1.5 billion to northward of $2.5B to $3B in a couple of years."
    • Inside Out is projected to draw $60M-$70M this weekend, while Jurassic World may "drop off" to just $90M.
    • Previously: 'Jurassic World' stomps records with $209M opening; past $500M global (Jun. 15 2015)
    | Fri, Jun. 19, 4:48 PM | 28 Comments
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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.