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The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

  • Nov. 14, 2014, 2:49 PM
    • Disney Interactive executive James Patiro says mobile games and apps continue to see unprecedented growth rates at the company.
    • Daily users are up 51% Y/Y and time per user is 75% higher than a year ago.
    • The Disney (DIS +0.3%) segment now ranks as the sixth largest mobile games publisher by sales.
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  • Nov. 14, 2014, 10:38 AM
    • Dow Chemical (DOW +1%) says it "fundamentally disagrees" with the position outlined by Dan Loeb's Third Point hedge fund in its latest statement and new website, which the company says reflect the views of "an activist investor that has little interest in anything that benefits [Dow's] many long-term shareholders."
    • Jim Cramer is now a fan of Dow, citing the company as an example of a buyback done right; combining Dow's $5B increase in its buyback plan with its total repurchase authorization totals ~17% of market cap.
    • Cramer also sees buyback opportunities in FLEX, JACK, M, DIS, KMB, VIA, DPS and AZN.
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 8:46 PM
    • Sony's (NYSE:SNE) new online TV package will price at $60 to $70 per month, estimates Re/code.
    • It's a level that is twice what Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) plans to charge for a slimmer package, although one that includes ESPN.
    • Programming on the Sony streaming service will feature shows from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC, Scripps Networks, and Viacom.
    • The pitch from the Japanese media giant is that cord-cutters will be drawn in by the captivating way of accessing the content through gaming consoles. A cutting-edge discovery and recommendations service for users is also highlighted by execs.
    • Regulatory watch: Potential rule changes from the FCC could level the playing field for the new streamers as they work out their content deals.
    • What to watch: A fragmented pay-TV landscape could benefit content producers (DISCA, CBS, FOXA, DIS, LGF, TWX, AMCX) in the short-term as competition heats up, while creating a pricing headache for cable/satellite/telco players (CMCSA, CVC, CHTR, DISH, T, DTV, VZ, TWC).
    • The Netflix factor: Many media analysts consider Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) an add-on for consumers - instead of an either/or decision with online TV.
  • Nov. 11, 2014, 7:24 AM
    • The FCC votes to uphold a previous ruling by its Media Bureau covering the access by third parties to pay-TV contracts.
    • In-person access to the information will open up on November 17 unless programmers win a new court order.
    • FCC statement (.pdf)
    • Related stocks: DIS, CBS, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, SNI, FOXA, CMCSA, CRWN.
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  • Nov. 10, 2014, 12:16 PM
    • Disney's (DIS -0.8%) movie segment reported a $1.55B profit over the fiscal year which ended in September and heads into the next few fiscal years with a higher number of big-budget movies scheduled to be released.
    • Walt Disney Studios has 21 films planned for the next three years - compared to the 13 it released over the previous three.
    • Studio chief Alan Horn deserves credit for managing the movie business smoothly for the media giant while keeping the independent spirit of Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm largely in place, notes the NYT.
    • Disney tent-poles 2015-2016.
    • Last week: Studio entertainment helps propel in FQ4
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  • Nov. 9, 2014, 9:52 PM
    • Disney Animation's (NYSE:DIS) Big Hero 6 took in an estimated $56.2M during its opening weekend in the U.S. to outpace the debut of Interstellar from Paramount (VIA, VIAB) which also appears to have crossed the $50M level.
    • Interstellar's global box office haul was $130M spread across 63 territories, while Big Hero 6 played in 18 markets to $63.8M.
    • IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) showings accounted for 25% of Interstellar's box office sales and the film is expected to remain a strong draw in the format up until the premiere of the next Hobbit movie on December 17.
    • Big Hero 6 is also tapped to show some legs with no major animated feature due out until November 26.
  • Nov. 7, 2014, 1:20 PM
    • With Disney (DIS -2.7%) having gone into earnings right at an all-time high of $92.00, the media giant is seeing some profit-taking following a slight FQ4 EPS beat.
    • FY15 spending guidance is an area of concern for some analysts. CFO Jay Rasulo stated on the CC (transcript) Disney expects FY15 capex to be up $1.5B Y/Y ($1.1B on an adjusted basis) thanks to Shanghai Disney investments, and that cable programming costs are expected to rise by a low-teens percentage due to NFL and college football deals. Also, pension expenses and forex are expected to have a $225M impact on op. profit.
    • Sell-side reactions to the FQ4 numbers are generally positive. BofA/Merrill (Buy): "Accelerating Parks, improving cap. returns, an improving Studio outlook, solid Media Networks and better Interactive all offer neat-term upside, while Disney Shanghai and Marvel/Pixar/Lucas film releases and full [retransmission] offer a solid FY15E/16E." The firm's FY15 and FY16 EPS estimates have respectively been hiked by $0.11 and $0.19.
    • FQ4 results, details
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  • Nov. 6, 2014, 9:33 PM
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS) plans to release Toy Story 4 in June of 2017.
    • Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and director John Lasseter will all return to their roles, according to reports.
    • The most recent Toy Story installment in 2010 raked in $415M in the U.S. and another $648M in international markets to rank it as the second-most successful animated feature of all-time behind only Frozen.
  • Nov. 6, 2014, 4:28 PM
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS) saw a strong quarter for its Studio Entertainment segment help drive it to a small FQ4 earnings beat.
    • Segment revenue growth: Media Networks +5% to $5.22B; Parks and Resorts +7% to $3.96B; Studio Entertainment +18% to $1.78B; Consumer Products +7% to $1.07B; Interactive -9% to $362M.
    • Cable Networks revenue was up 6% while broadcasting revenue rose 5%. Higher programming costs at ESPN contributed to a 1% dip in operating income within the segment.
    • Operating income +20% for Disney's theme parks business on higher guest spending.
    • The global success of Frozen helped profit increase in both the Consumer Products and Studio Entertainment segments.
    • Capex spending +18.4% Y/Y to $3.311B led by continued investment in Disney Shanghai.
    • DIS -1.0% AH
  • Nov. 6, 2014, 4:17 PM
    • Walt Disney  (NYSE:DIS): FQ4 EPS of $0.89 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $12.38B (+7.0% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Shares -1.4%.
    • Press Release
  • Nov. 5, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Nov. 4, 2014, 3:00 PM
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  • Nov. 4, 2014, 2:32 PM
    • Disney (DIS -1.7%) says it has sold more than 3M Frozen-related dresses this year.
    • The company didn't release a sales total in dollars, although many of the items sell for more than $60.
    • What to watch: Frozen was a recent phenomenon last year when the holiday season rolled around leading to some supply shortages of the princess dresses. A confident tone recently from execs at Disney's Consumer Products segment is an indication the oversight won't happen again this year.
    • Previously: Elsa's momentum over Barbie extends into Q4
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  • Nov. 4, 2014, 2:44 AM
    • Starting today, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will allow customers who buy a Disney (NYSE:DIS) movie from either of their online stores to watch it on smartphones, tablets and other digital devices that run their rival’s operating system.
    • Apple previously restricted movies, TV shows and other content to its own family of iOS devices. Google placed similar restrictions on its digital store and Android-powered devices.
    • The two will pay Disney a wholesale rate for each copy of a film they sell, regardless of the devices on which people watch them.
  • Oct. 31, 2014, 11:47 AM
    • The Barbie vs. Elsa sales trend looks to be extending into the holiday season.
    • Hasbro (HAS +1.2%), Jakks Pacific (JAKK -1.4%), and Disney (DIS +1.3%) all saw a powerful sales boost from Frozen-related doll sales in Q3, while Mattel's (MAT +2.1%) Barbie brand slumped during the quarter.
    • A scan of Google search tallies indicates Elsa is still taking Barbie market share just ahead of the crucial holiday season.
    • Google Trends: Barbie, Elsa.
  • Oct. 31, 2014, 9:28 AM
    • Disney theme parks operated by Oriental Land in Japan are in line for $4.5B in upgrades and expansion, according to Bloomberg.
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS) receives license fees from the two parks earmarked for the investment - Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
    • A large attraction based on the movie Frozen is part of the expansion plan at Tokyo Disneyland.
    • Frozen is the 2nd highest grossing film ever in Japan.
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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.