Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) closed out the week at a lower price than a one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom for the first time since February. That's a subtle jab at how expensive a day at the theme parks is getting, but it's also way to find out that Disney's stock is now trading in the single digits for the first time in six months.
Disney isn't the only blue chip that's now a black and blue chip after the recent sell-off. However, with Friday's close pricing the media giant at a 19% discount to the all-time high it established earlier this month, it's time to start eyeing the market's misfortune as a buying opportunity.
Let's go over a few of the reasons Disney is a bargain here.
1. Cord cutting isn't the end
The initial weakness in Disney's stock came from the ominous confirmation by Disney during its earnings call that the number of ESPN subscribers was on the decline. Live sports was always played up as immune to cord cutting, but with revenue and operating profits decelerating and pay-TV subscribers dwindling, it's easy to be concerned.
However, we still don't know the role that ESPN and Disney's other cable properties will play in the streaming television revolution once that's fully fleshed out. The one thing we do know is that there's money to be made in owning premium content, and Disney's catalog is rich after spending billions apiece on Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.
2. Use the Force, Luke
We're now just four months away from seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens in a multiplex near you. It's highly likely to shatter box office records, and it comes at a time when folks are flocking to the cinema again.
Between the new trilogy and the spinoff theatrical properties that Disney has already announced -- to say nothing about the consumer products, video content, and licensing opportunities that will follow -- Star Wars is going to be a bigger contributor to Disney's finances.
3. Theme parks will get even better
Disney's theme parks are doing just fine, attracting 134.3 million guests worldwide last year. It's just scratching the surface. We're not just talking about the opening of Shanghai Disneyland next year. Disney recently unveiled new attractions for its parks that will be opening in the coming years.
Nor can we forget the MyMagic+ technology that Disney has been incorporating at its Florida resort. It is making experiences more interactive, getting to know its customers better in the process.
4. The valuation isn't as expensive as you may think
Disney has earned a market premium, and it has rarely been cheap on a conventional valuation basis. However, the cascading share price this month and improving fundamentals find it priced at just 19 times this fiscal year's profit forecast, and just so we're clear, that fiscal year ends at the end of next month. If the stock goes nowhere between now and then, we're talking about trailing earnings that go from 21 now to the high teens.
5. Pay attention to the yield signs
The same valuation argument applies to its dividend. A lower share price on a company that routinely raises its payouts finds the stock's yield up to 1.34%. That may not be enough make income investors giddy, but it's a great way to reward patient investors as they see the lull through.
Going against the herd
It's not a popular time to back Disney. The market darling has fallen out of favor, and analysts are slashing price targets.
That's fine. If you think fears are overblown that Disney's fundamentals are crumbling -- unlike its fellow media moguls, it's not as if all of its eggs are in the pay-TV market -- the nearly 20% sale on Disney stock is like a dinner bell donning mouse ears.