Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is scheduled to release its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after the markets close on Thursday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $1.16 in earnings per share (EPS) and $13.52 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.20 and $13.51 billion in revenue.
At the start of this year, Disney was expected to generate a total return of 13.87% for 2016. Well, Disney shares now have a negative return over 10% thus far, including the dividend. At the end of 2015, the Mouse House was flying high on the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars hype, and now that baseline has been seen. Bob Iger’s replacement sure-bet has also now become an unknown, and valuations have played a part here in this disappointment.
Cable cutting is costing cable companies and cable stations big time. The anxiety particularly swirls around operations like ESPN, owned by Disney. The channel represents billions in revenue for the multimedia public corporation. Some channels have started to offer their own direct-to-customers services, and research firm cg42 projects 800,000 people will cut cords in the next 12 months, which will cost the pay-TV providers $988 million.
Prior to the release of the earnings report, a few analysts weighed in on Disney:
- Brean Capital reiterated a Hold rating.
- Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating with a $125 price target.
- BMO Capital Markets reiterated a Market Perform rating with a $90 price target.
- Nomura reiterated a Buy rating with a $110 price target.
- Jefferies reiterated a Hold rating with a $92 price target.
- Needham reiterated a Hold rating.
- Citigroup reiterated a Buy rating.
- Barclays reiterated an Underweight rating.
Excluding Thursday’s move, Disney has underperformed the broad markets, with the stock down 11% year to date.
Shares of Disney were last seen up over 1% at $95.96, with a consensus analyst price target of $106.71 and a 52-week trading range of $86.25 to $120.65.