Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) shares are a good buy at present, says Hussman Strategic Advisors Inc. At the time of writing, the shares were trading nearly 2% higher than Friday’s closing price. Hussman and about 10 other analysts have given the stock a ‘Buy’ rating, based on the firm’s performance in the last 3 months. Although the stock has actually lost about a fifth of its value during the last 3 months, the fall seems to have been stemmed since a few weeks. Some short term jitters can be expected but investors can look forward to long-term growth.
What Led Hussman to Add Disney to His Portfolio
December 2015 saw the release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, which made windfall gains worldwide and smashed many records. The opening weekend alone made more than $500 mn. Investor confidence was surprisingly a little skeptical over concerns about ESPN. Disney CEO Bob Igor had stated during the earnings release that in the next quarter, the phenomenon of ‘cord cutting‘ may cause subscriber numbers to fall. However, in terms of revenue, Disney had done well. Black Friday sales related to the movie merchandise were particularly successful.
The same period of 3 months also gave rise to other reasons for the belief in long-term growth. The annual pass charges for Disneyland were increased and the firm entered the world of streaming in the UK with its own ‘DisneyLife’ service. Also, about $400 mn were invested in Vice Media.
Walt Disney Co Announces Filming for the Next ‘Star Wars’ Episode
Filming for the next installment of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise began on Monday in London. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern are among the cast that has been roped in for the film. The film is going to be written and directed by Rian Johnson. It is currently set to release on December 15, 2017. The eighth episode will also see Kelly Marie Tran joining the film along with old timers like Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. Disney maintains that although Kelly Marie Tran doesn’t have a very impressive portfolio to boast of, she is a promising newcomer.
In a separate development, ‘Gravity Falls’, the mystery thriller that had originally premiered in 2012 on Disney Channel, is being wrapped up (at least for now). It had shifted to Disney XD in 2014 and went on to become its highest-rated series. Series creator/exec producer Alex Hirsch expressed his gratitude to Disney for allowing him to experiment with such a crazy idea. Compared to most other kinds of content that is meant for kids, Gravity Falls had a quite scary plot. Hirsch added that Disney put faith in him to go forward with his idea and that he was not expecting the series to be such a big success. He did not completely rule out a sequel in the future.
Interestingly, Hirsch had graduated from CalArts. The art and design school has regularly been a hunting ground for Disney to pick up talent. However, Hirsch still believes that the excellent experience that he has had with Disney for Gravity Falls is nothing but good luck.