Walt Disney (DIS) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Disney’s strong film slate is expected to boost its Studio Entertainment segment results. Recently released Captain Marvel became the third-highest domestic release of all times in the month of March and the seventh highest MCU debut film. Additionally, future releases including Avengers 4 may aid top-line growth. Moreover, with the completion of Fox’s acquisition, Disney can strengthen its TV slate and expand its international presence and DTC offerings. Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+, supported by content strength from Disney and Fox, may give tough competition to Netflix and Amazon. Notably, shares have outperformed the industry over the past year. However, higher programming costs at ESPN and heavy investments in streaming services continue to hurt profitability. Moreover, softness experienced in tourism in China negatively impacted Shanghai Disney Resort results.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on DIS. ValuEngine upgraded Walt Disney from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday. Imperial Capital boosted their price target on Walt Disney from $129.00 to $139.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday. Rosenblatt Securities reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Walt Disney in a research note on Monday, April 8th. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on Walt Disney in a research note on Thursday, April 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $142.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Bank of America set a $144.00 price target on Walt Disney and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $129.67.

DIS stock traded up $1.92 on Monday, hitting $131.98. 23,102,669 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 17,706,936. Walt Disney has a 12-month low of $97.68 and a 12-month high of $130.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 1.00 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The company has a market cap of $193.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.22 and a beta of 0.91.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The entertainment giant reported $1.84 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $15.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.20 billion. Walt Disney had a return on equity of 20.50% and a net margin of 18.46%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.89 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Walt Disney will post 6.88 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Zenia B. Mucha sold 33,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $128.88, for a total value of $4,253,040.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Brent Woodford sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.35, for a total value of $228,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 26,517 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,032,218.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 37,042 shares of company stock valued at $4,713,677. Insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Northwest Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Walt Disney by 3.2% during the first quarter. Northwest Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,922 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $324,000 after acquiring an additional 91 shares during the last quarter. Boltwood Capital Management raised its holdings in shares of Walt Disney by 0.4% during the fourth quarter. Boltwood Capital Management now owns 22,637 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $2,482,000 after acquiring an additional 94 shares during the last quarter. Stockman Wealth Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Walt Disney by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Stockman Wealth Management Inc. now owns 9,392 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $1,030,000 after acquiring an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. First National Bank of Hutchinson raised its holdings in shares of Walt Disney by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. First National Bank of Hutchinson now owns 2,527 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $277,000 after acquiring an additional 97 shares during the last quarter. Finally, YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Walt Disney by 0.8% during the fourth quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 12,422 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $1,362,000 after acquiring an additional 99 shares during the last quarter. 64.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Walt Disney Company Profile

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an entertainment company worldwide. The company's Media Networks segment operates cable programming businesses under the ESPN, Disney, and Freeform brands; broadcast businesses, including ABC TV Network and eight owned television stations; and radio businesses.

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