Equity prospects

WALT DISNEY COMPANY

John Royden, Head of Research

Price$139.55

52 week high-low$147.15—$100.35

Net yield1.3%

Hist / pros per25.3—24.4

Equity market cap$251,382

Walt Disney Company (Disney) is more than a mouse with big ears and amusement parks. The empire now includes films made by Pixar (Toy Story), Marvel Studios (Avengers), Lucasfilm (Star Wars) and 20th Century Fox. What is lovely about their films is that they touch a broad spectrum of the population. Young and old, male and female, all love Disney’s content. There is something for everybody, including shareholders. Since 2009, 18 films have taken $960 million on average, helped by the Star Wars franchise at $1.2 billion per film. 

Disney also owns 80% of ESPN (sports), as well as ABC, National Geographic and Hotstar (India). Clients include the likes of Netflix and Hulu (60% owned by Disney) and Amazon. 

But things are changing. Disney’s direct to consumer strategy hit the headlines in April 2019 when it announced its launch of Disney+ at $7 per month or $70 per annum. Disney+ launches in November and compares favourably with Apple TV’s expected $12.50 per month, Netflix at $13 per month and HBO at $15 per month. Disney is pulling back all the content it previously licenced to distributors like Netflix and Amazon and only distributing it out via Disney+. Watch to see if Disney can transfer its box office success to direct streaming to consumers. 

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