Investing in Disney Stock (DIS)

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The Walt Disney Company is a global entertainment company that operates a broad range of businesses, including theme parks, resorts, a cruise line, broadcast TV networks, and related products. Disney also produces live entertainment events and produces and streams a wide range of film and TV entertainment content through its relatively new digital streaming services. The Walt Disney Co. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol, DIS.

Founded in 1923 as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio by brothers Walt and Roy Disney, the company now boasts a market capitalization of $329 billion (as of August 13, 2021) and generated annual net income of $11.6 billion on annual revenue of $69.6 billion during its 2019 fiscal year (FY), which ended Sept. 28, 2020.

Under the leadership of Bob Chapek, who took over from Robert Iger as the company’s CEO in Feb. 2020, the company operates through the following business segments: Media Networks; Parks, Experiences and Products; Studio Entertainment; and Direct-to-Consumer and International.

The Walt Disney World theme park in Florida reopened in July after closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, COVID-19 cases have since escalated in Florida, with officials having reported the highest level of new infections of any U.S. state.

More on Disney (DIS)

Disney’s Latest Developments

  • On August 24, 2021 Disney finalized a deal with the Services Trades Council Union, which will require workers at Disney World in Florida to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021 unless they receive medical or religious exemptions. This comes after the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • On August 18, 2021 Walt Disney World announced it was ending its “FastPass” line-skipping service. It is rolling out a replacement as part of its new park itinerary mobile app “Disney Genie.” Customers can pay $15 a day per person for access to “Genie+” and receive line-skipping “Lightning Lane” access to some, but not all rides. In order to access the Lightning Lane on the most popular rides, customers will have to pay a separate fee that will be variable based on demand.
  • On August 12, 2021, Disney released its Q3 FY 2021 earnings report. It reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.80 and revenue of $17 billion, both significantly exceeding analysts’ predictions. It’s Parks, Experiences and Products segment turned a profit for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
  • On July 29, 2021, actor Scarlet Johannsen sued Disney over the simultaneous streaming release of the movie Black Widow, which she starred in. The suit alleges that Disney broke its contractual obligation to her because her salary, which includes a cut of box office revenues, was agreed with the provision that the film would have a “theatrical release.” Ms. Johannsen’s lawyers argue that a theatrical release of the film meant that it would be exclusive to theatres. Box office receipts fell precipitously in the movie’s second weekend.
  • On May 13, 2021, Disney reported earnings for the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), which ended April 3, 2021. Its adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.79, far above analysts’ expectations, but revenue was $15.6 billion, slightly below the $15.9 billion analysts’ had expected. The company also reported a fewer-than-expected 103.6 million Disney+ subscribers.
  • On April 30, 2021, Disneyland reopened after shutting down in March of 2020. Currently, only California residents can visit the park and may not come in groups of more than three per household due to COVID-19.

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