Yes, Walt Disney's "The Lone Ranger" Bombed. Big Deal.http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/07/11/yes-walt-disneys-the-lone-ranger-bombed-big-deal.aspx Jon Friedman
July 11, 2013
You'd think that this should be an especially trying time at the Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS).
The entertainment and media giant's ballyhooed summer popcorn movie The Lone Ranger was an opening-weekend box-office fiasco and represented a public embarrassment for the Magic Kingdom company. Its performance was so catastrophic that it has sparked comparisons with Disney's other major movie nightmare in recent memory, John Carter.
Starring Johnny Depp, The Lone Ranger opened with an anemic figure of about $49 million in the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, the animated film Despicable Me 2, from Comcast's Universal Pictures posted a remarkable result of $142 million. Adding to Disney's misery, the company spent an estimated $250 million to produce The Lone Ranger while Universal invested about $76 million on its animated feature.
Putting further stress on Disney, one of its flagship franchises, ESPN, appears to be under pressure to continue to flourish with the debut next month of hard-charging rival Fox Sports 1.
Yet Disney's much-followed stock has not suffered. Wall Street has been able to look past the Chicken Little headlines because analysts see the big picture.
On Monday, Credit Suisse stressed that it was raising its target price to $74 from $73 for Disney. True, a single dollar doesn't seem like a big deal, but what matters here is the timing of the investment banking firm's move -- reassuring Disney investors that Credit Suisse strongly believes in the company, and its price target connotes a potential 14% upside from its price at the time. Credit Suisse noted:
Nineteen equities analysts have placed a buy rating on Disney, and one says it is a strong b