Can Disney Stock live up to Monday’s 12% pop?
The announcement of a potentially viable vaccine on the market in the coming months was enough to give Walt disney (NYSE: DIS) a – it looks like – a bullet in the arm. The stock jumped 12% on Monday, hitting a 10-month intraday high along the way.
You have to go back to January 3 to find out when the media giant’s shares traded higher, so Disney is trading again at pre-COVID-19 levels. It’s a welcome sight, of course, but the timing of the rally in the consumer barometer isn’t great. Disney will release its fourth quarter tax results shortly after Tuesday’s market close, and it won’t be pretty. Maintaining Monday’s rally or even justifying the skyrocketing payoffs will be a challenge unless Disney pulls off a stunning performance.
Not a flying toy
The silver lining here is that investors are already prepare for a lousy relationship. Analysts see a loss of $ 0.71 per share with revenue plunging 26% to $ 14.2 billion. The year-over-year decline in the top line is no surprise. There are weaknesses in most of its business segments.
- Advertising revenue has been slow to come for its media networks, and the cord cut is eating into its cable revenue.
- Theme parks continue to be a drag on performance. Disneyland remains closed. Disney World opened two weeks after the start of the fiscal quarter, but with a tight cap on daily attendance. Hong Kong Disneyland – where it has a minority stake – had to close for several weeks during the quarter following a COVID-19 outbreak in the region.
- Its studio entertainment business is largely up on boulders, with the Corner Multiplex struggling. Theaters started opening mid-quarter, but Disney pulled all of its major summer and fall theatrical releases.
- Disney + will be a rock star, but even with over 60 million paying subscribers, the revenue it generates isn’t enough to make up for the weakness just about everywhere else.
Disney suffered a larger year-over-year drop in revenue in its fiscal third quarter, but that is unlikely to replicate the positive earnings surprise it delivered last time around. the media stock lacked the high profile sports programming tab it faces this time around with the return of live sports for the major professional leagues.
The irony of Monday’s rally is that Disney’s biggest hit in the lull is Disney + as a home game. When the action hit historic highs in late November last year – less than two weeks after the service launched – it was thanks to Disney + entertaining homebodies battling the pandemic. Disney stocks have fared better than its fellow theme park, cruise line and studio operators this year due to the success of Disney + over the past year. The basket of once-hot home stocks was slammed on Monday, but Disney had to have their mouse ears and wear them too.
Disney will have a lot to prove this week. The market reaction after what is expected to be a quarterback will say a lot about where we stand when it comes to accepting Mouse House back into the ranks of market darlings.
This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.