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The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

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  • Nov. 1, 2012, 12:30 PM
    Disney's (DIS +1.8%) mega-deal to buy Lucasfilm is less than 48 hours old but already the media giant is running ads (YouTube video) showing Darth Vader visiting the Magic Kingdom park. Despite the subdued reaction of Disney shares to the acquisition, many analysts are forecasting a big payoff down the line with the strategic supply of opportunities the company now has in its back pocket.
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  • Oct. 31, 2012, 6:30 PM
    "Are Disney and George Lucas hiding something?" New York Magazine's Kevin Roose asks, suspecting the timing of the deal announcement in the midst of Hurricane Sandy means the deal is a dud: "If Disney knows it overpaid, or even senses it might have, then burying the news makes all the sense in the world." Frustration at an analyst conference call added to the conspiracy meme.
  • Oct. 31, 2012, 11:06 AM
    Disney (DIS -2.5%) CEO Robert Iger says (video) the mega-deal to buy Lucasfilm will be slightly dilutive for two years after the closing and then turn accretive after that point. The exec also notes the consumer product and licensing opportunities from the transaction is close what Marvel Entertainment offered up at the point of purchase, but highlights the Lucasfilm buy includes digital properties. After a rush of gushing analysts weighed in on the deal, shares have peeled off early gains rather quickly.
  • Oct. 31, 2012, 8:24 AM
    Chewbacca meets the Incredible Hulk: Disney's (DIS) deal to snap up the Star Wars franchise for a cool $4.05B has the entertainment industry buzzing and analysts chatty. Barclays says the company will monetize the property and roll it through the Disney ecosystem, while both JPMorgan and Wells Fargo call the purchase positive for future earnings. By all accounts, the relationship between 2%-Disney owner George Lucas and the House of Mouse will remain positive with Lucas adding creative input, but not calling the shots on scripts. DIS +2.5% premarket.
  • Oct. 30, 2012, 5:34 PM
    Mentioned during the Disney-Lucasfilm call: Disney (DIS) is (naturally) looking for ways to further profit from Star Wars merchandising and other non-film opportunities. There are some restrictions on what Disney can do in terms of "exploiting" Star Wars characters, but not as many as there were for the Marvel deal. Disney thinks 3D will allow the upcoming movies to gross more than the prequel. No value was assigned to Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones rights due to existing ties with Paramount. (live blog)
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  • Oct. 30, 2012, 4:11 PM
    More on Disney's (DIS) deal for Lucasfilm (previous): The company plans to breathe fresh life into the Star Wars franchise with plans for Episode 7 slated for a 2015 release and more feature films targeted into the future. The price tag is interesting since the company spent close to same amount for Marvel Entertainment and wrung more value out of that purchase within three years than even the bullish-leaning analyst forecast.
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  • Oct. 30, 2012, 4:04 PM
    Disney (DIS) announces it will buy Lucasfilm in a transaction valued at $4.05B. The company will pay half of the purchase price in cash and issue close to 40M shares at the closing to account for the rest.
  • Oct. 26, 2012, 1:51 PM
    SNL Kagan analyst Derek Baine doesn't expect whichever major media company that takes a flyer at Current TV to break the bank. He says the deal price should be low as he lines up Disney (DIS -0.7%) as a potential buyer with its newfound interest in running a news network.
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  • Oct. 24, 2012, 3:21 PM
    Hulu should consider buying Netflix (NFLX -11.9%) in order to instantly add to its movie library and number of subscribers, argues Louis Bedigan. The key to the deal for owners NBC <, Fox (NWS +1.4%), and ABC (DIS -0.1%) would be the ability to lower content costs when contracts were up for negotiation. A beat-up Netflix is also starting to unfurl an entry point that might look enticing for the well-funded trio of owners.
  • Oct. 23, 2012, 11:06 AM
    The Disney (DIS -1.7%) Marvel juggernaut looks set to keep rolling right along with the scheduled release of Iron Man 3 next May, marking the first film in the superhero franchise since The Avengers hit $1.5B (and counting) in ticket sales. Thor 2 and Captain America 2 are also slated to be released before The Avengers 2 finally hits screens sometime in 2014. The high probability that the films will generate a lush amount of cash flow is cited by analysts as one of the catalysts to support rosy earnings projections on Disney stretching out for the next two years. (Iron Man 3 trailer)
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  • Oct. 22, 2012, 3:08 PM
    NBC (CMCSA -0.2%) keeps its strong ratings rolling, beating network rivals for young viewers for three week running. While NBC has racked up a 15% increase in the 18-year to 49-year demographic this year compared to last, ABC (DIS -0.9%) is down 12% and CBS without Charlie Sheen to drum up business is down 24%. Analysts say one more week at the top could be enough to get ad rates heading north.
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  • Oct. 22, 2012, 8:24 AM
    Disney's (DIS) redesign of its website is more than just a refresh of, but a critical part of trying to maintain its digital relevancy. The company's character franchises, remarkably successful in other segments, have struggled to churn up profits online with Disney's gaming, mobile, and Internet division posting 15 quarters in a row of losses. Execs expect the division to stop bleeding red sometime next year with new products through the portal contributing.
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  • Oct. 22, 2012, 6:59 AM
    Scripps Networks (SNI) could be in play after the death of the founder's grandson. The passing of Robert Scripps makes it easier it easier for a company to gain approval for a sale with a family trust now dissolved. Potential bidders: CBS (CBS), Disney (DIS), Discovery Communications (DISCA).
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  • Oct. 14, 2012, 6:10 AM
    Providence Equity Partners has reportedly sold its 10% holding in Hulu back to the online video service for $200M in a transaction that values the company at $2B. Hulu is taking a loan to fund the acquisition, which leaves News Corp. (NWS), Comcast (CMCSA) and Disney (DIS) as the remaining owners. Separately, Hulu's CEO is poised to receive $40M.
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  • Oct. 12, 2012, 6:49 AM
    Cumulus Media (CMLS) announces it will replace sports programming from ESPN (DIS) with CBS Sports Radio in 47 markets. The move will narrow the gap in total audience between the two sports radio networks.
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  • Oct. 11, 2012, 10:25 AM
    Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente cuts his estimate for U.S. advertising growth due to a "choppy" economy to 4% for 2012 and 1.9% for 2013 from 4.6% and 2.3%, respectively. TV advertising felt a negative effect from the Olympics, but is due for a bounce with political ads ramping up through the November elections. His big picture view of the media sector is still positive on decent growth expectations as he backs News Corp. (NWS, NWS) as his top pick.
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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.