Walt Disney (DIS) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, December 19th.

According to Zacks, “Disney is acquiring majority of Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets, which includes its Film and Television studios accompanied by cable and international TV businesses in a transaction worth $52.4 billion. The deal provides a bout of fresh air to Disney, which for quite some time now has been jostling in the fast changing media landscape, where rise in streaming and cord cutting have become two faces of the coin. No wonder, the buyout of these assets would considerably enhance the media mogul’s bargaining power with Cable TV providers, increase affiliate fees, provide a fresh lease of life to ESPN and create cost synergies. Further, the addition of Fox's rich library of movies and TV series would greatly enhance Disney’s prospects in the streaming service. Bob Iger will continue to spearhead the company through 2021 for a smooth integration of Fox’s assets into Disney.”

DIS has been the topic of a number of other reports. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $130.00 price target on shares of Walt Disney and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $125.00 price target on shares of Walt Disney and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Vetr cut shares of Walt Disney from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $106.77 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, November 13th. Rosenblatt Securities restated a hold rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of Walt Disney in a report on Monday, December 4th. Finally, Citigroup restated a neutral rating on shares of Walt Disney in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $115.77.

Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE DIS) traded up $1.52 on Tuesday, hitting $110.99. 6,416,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,690,000. Walt Disney has a 1-year low of $96.20 and a 1-year high of $116.10. The stock has a market capitalization of $167,630.00, a P/E ratio of 19.54, a P/E/G ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The entertainment giant reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $12.78 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.30 billion. Walt Disney had a net margin of 14.59% and a return on equity of 16.71%. The company’s revenue was down 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.10 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Walt Disney will post 6.23 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a Semi-Annual dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 11th will be given a dividend of $0.84 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 8th. Walt Disney’s payout ratio is 29.58%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Walt Disney by 2.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 98,803,049 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $10,497,824,000 after buying an additional 2,131,932 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Walt Disney by 2.5% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 20,462,287 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $2,174,118,000 after buying an additional 500,349 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in shares of Walt Disney by 3.8% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 8,186,026 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $806,872,000 after purchasing an additional 300,973 shares during the last quarter. Parnassus Investments CA raised its position in shares of Walt Disney by 19.3% in the 3rd quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 6,941,130 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $684,187,000 after purchasing an additional 1,123,949 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of Walt Disney by 7.8% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 5,777,328 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $613,841,000 after purchasing an additional 420,200 shares during the last quarter. 61.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Walt Disney Company Profile

The Walt Disney Company is an entertainment company. The Company operates in four business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, and Consumer Products & Interactive Media. The media networks segment includes cable and broadcast television networks, television production and distribution operations, domestic television stations, and radio networks and stations.

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