There aren't any major market drivers today, but I'll note that West Texas Intermediate crude oil is once again up 1% to $107.42 per barrel as the U.S. economy improves and the conflict in Iraq continues. High energy prices could constrain expected economic growth in the second half of the year, particularly if that cost flows down to the gas pump.
Disney is down, not out
Investors may be eyeing those high gas prices as a reason to sell Disney today, but this is a stock long-term investors should love.
In the first calendar quarter of the year (Disney's second fiscal quarter), the company reported a 10% jump in revenue and a 30% increase in earnings per share to $1.08. In the past year, the company has earned $3.89 per share and is still gaining momentum in its three-pronged approach to dominating media.
The first key to success is the box office, where Frozen was a massive hit last year; coming up are Guardians of the Galaxy this summer and another Avengers film next year. Add the three remaining sequels to Star Wars and a multitude of spinoffs from both Marvel and Lucasfilm and you have a box office business that is firing on all cylinders.
ESPN and Disney's other television networks provide a steady stream of revenue and earnings, assisted by box office characters. Disney has also adopted streaming platforms more quickly than competitors, including Watch ESPN and Watch ABC apps.
The beauty of building characters on the big and small screen is that Disney can then translate them into rides, shows, and games at theme parks, which are actually the company's second-largest business. Last quarter, parks and resorts revenue was up 8% -- and that's in a tough economy. Just imagine how Disney's theme parks will do if the economy picks up.
Disney's stock is trading at 21 times trailing earnings, which isn't cheap, but as I've outlined above the three-pronged approach of building successful characters and businesses at the box office, and through media networks, and then translating that to revenue at theme parks has been wildly successful. There's no indication that Disney is losing any steam on the character side, and if that's the case it will drive value down the chain for years to come. Disney's stock isn't doing well today, but this is no reason to panic and may even be a good day to pick up shares to hold for the long term.
Disney is ready for the end of cable
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.