Making sense of the markets this week: February 11, 2024

Disney is back on track

Even with all the iconic brands under its corporate umbrella, Disney has struggled the last few years, as its share price is down 11% since February 2019.

Things might be looking up now that CEO-extraordinaire Bob Iger is back in the captain’s seat after “retiring” back in 2020.

Disney earnings highlights

All earnings and revenues for Disney, PayPal, McDonalds, and Eli Lilly below are in U.S. dollars.

• Disney (DIS/NYSE): Earnings per share of $1.22 (versus $0.99 predicted), and revenues of $23.55 billion (versus $23.64 billion predicted). 

Disney shares were up over 7% in extended trading on Wednesday after the earnings call. And the call highlighted the following reasons for increased profit guidance in 2024:

  • Disney will meet or surpass its goal of cutting costs by $7.5 billion this year.
  • The House of Mouse company will also invest $1.5 billion into a partnership with game software developer Epic Games.
  • Disney’s “experiences” division (think theme parks and cruises) saw a 7% increase in revenues versus last year. 

Yet, the biggest Disney revelation this week came from its sports streaming division.

With Amazon trying live football broadcasts this year, it appears the more traditional names in media have decided to fight back. 

Disney (through its ESPN subsidiary), Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced joining forces to create a new sports streaming service. The planned platform has yet to be named, but it would feature current sports programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, TNT, TBS, TruTV, FS1, FS2, BTN, UFC, as well as the main ABC and Fox broadcasts. 

Iger stated, “The launch of this new streaming sports service is a significant moment for Disney and ESPN, a major win for sports fans and an important step forward for the media business.”

When you think about the possibilities of bundling a new live sports service with current Disney+, Hulu, and Max (the HBO streamer), you will have re-created a substantial amount of the old American cable bundle, plus streaming of classic movies and TV shows. Now, all we need to know is the price, and if and when it would be made available to Canadians.

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