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Disney Gets Downgraded After Coming 'Too Far, Too Fast'

By Rich Duprey – May 28, 2020 at 8:35AM

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Questions about its theme parks and movie business overshadow its comeback performance.

Walt Disney (DIS 3.70%) is now more a stock for day traders instead of buy-and-hold investors, according to one analyst who downgraded the stock to underperform.

Imperial Capital analyst David Miller said shares of the entertainment giant have "risen too far too fast" over the past month and a more temperate view of its theme park potential was needed.

Mickey Mouse stands in front of a theme park walkway.

Image source: Walt Disney.

An overachiever

After hitting $79 a share in March, a level Disney's stock hasn't seen since 2014, the House of Mouse has climbed 53% and is up 21% in the last four weeks alone. 

Thefly.com says Miller told clients in a note that with shares trading over $121 a share, it's time to take profits. He reduced his estimates for Disney because of a more muted outlook for both its theme parks, which are not scheduled to open until July -- later than some had expected -- and because its film business may not be as robust.

Miller previously pegged Disney to run in line with the market and had a $107 price target set on the stock, which it has blown past. That helps inform his thinking the entertainment house will underperform the market, leading him to ease back his fair value of the stock to $105.

While that's negligible to what he forecast previously, it suggests a downside risk of about 12%. Until Disney gets its balance again, though, Miller says Disney's stock is one to be "traded," not "owned" for the foreseeable future.

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short July 2020 $115 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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