Disney Heats Up the Dow Behind a Star-Studded First-Quarter Performance

Disney's big success at the box office propels its standout earnings report, while Coca-Cola spices up the markets as it pushes into the do-it-yourself beverage market.

Feb 6, 2014 at 2:30PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The markets certainly haven't been frozen today, as Disney (NYSE:DIS) has lit up the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI)for a gain of 176 points as of 2:30 p.m. EST. The entertainment conglomerate's stock has jumped more than 5.2% behind a strong fiscal first-quarter earnings report. Coca-Cola's (NYSE:KO) stock is up more than 1% after the beverage giant made waves with a new deal. Let's catch up on what you need to know.

Disney scores a first-quarter home run
Disney announced earlier yesterday that its fiscal first-quarter net profit surged 33% from last year. The company's sales roared higher by more than 8% year over year during, led by Disney's box office-captivating animated feature Frozen. The film has racked up more than $860 million at the worldwide box office as of this past weekend and still placed second at the domestic box office despite its lengthy run in theaters.

Along with Marvel hit Thor: The Dark World, Frozen helped Disney's film division see net profits jump 75% for the first quarter. Meanwhile, Disney's media networks division continued its romp higher, sparking net profit by 20% as sales climbed nearly 4% at the company's largest business by revenue. Sports network ESPN's advertising sales picked up 10% for the quarter to lead the charge. Theme park revenue also grew more than 6%.

Don't think Disney's film success will slow down anytime soon. The company's Marvel Studios is set to strike box office gold again this spring with its newest Captain America film. With an Avengers sequel on tap in 2015 to pair with the closely watched seventh installment of the Star Wars saga, Disney's on the right course to run away with box office success over the next few years. Considering how well the company's other business divisions are performing, particularly its media networks group, this is one blue-chip stock that's risen to the top of the Dow's leaderboard in future expectations.

Coca-Cola pleased investors today with its own stock gain after the company announced its acquisition of a 10% stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR). Coca-Cola plans to use Green Mountain's new Keurig Cold home brewing machine as a host to some of its top beverage brands in an attempt to pick up a slice of the at-home beverage market. Coke paid $1.25 billion in the deal, a move that sent Green Mountain's shares bubbling higher by nearly 30% on a tremendous day for shareholders. Green Mountain's Keurig Cold is on pace to launch in fiscal 2015, and the addition of some of Coca-Cola's top brands will give the device major firepower in drawing consumer attention.

Will this stock set the market ablaze in 2014?
Coca-Cola's acquisition offers a lot for investors, but there might not be a Dow stock with more momentum heading into the heart of 2014 than Disney. But is there an under-the-radar stock that could outperform even the red-hot House of Mouse? The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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