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WALT DISNEY COMPANY (THE)

(DIS)
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Disney+ magic fades: Barclays downgrades Walt Disney after three years

10/18/2021 | 10:28am EST
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Smartphone with the

(Reuters) - Walt Disney's stock received a rare Wall Street downgrade on Monday, as Barclays called for bold changes from the media giant to reverse slowing growth at its Disney+ streaming service.

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek last month hinted at a slowdown in Disney+, saying fourth-quarter global paid subscribers will grow by "low single digit" millions compared with a rise of 58.5 million in the previous three months.

Disney+, which has one of the richest portfolios of media content, had a blockbuster launch in 2019; it attracted new subscribers with its hit "Star Wars" and "Avengers" franchises.

Rival streaming platforms such as Netflix Inc, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video have had a different approach. They invested heavily on original content to draw in subscribers.

"While the company (Disney) appears to be targeting one new piece of content a week, not every piece of content has the same franchise value or visibility," Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar said.

Barclays also said the slowdown in Disney+ subscribers could not be solely attributed to a pull forward in additions in 2020, when streaming platforms gained popularity as people hunkering down at home sought entertainment.

To achieve its target of 230 million to 260 million Disney+ subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, Disney will need to more than double its current pace of growth to at least the same level as Netflix, according to Barclays.

Netflix, which is due to report its quarterly results on Tuesday, had 209 million subscribers as of the quarter ended June. Disney+ had 116 million paying customers.

Disney shares, which have not been downgraded by any brokerage so far this year, fell about 2% in early trading.

(Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh, Tanvi Mehta and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Writing by Subrat Patnaik; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)


© Reuters 2021
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Analyst Recommendations on WALT DISNEY COMPANY (THE)
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2022 83 709 M - -
Net income 2022 6 278 M - -
Net Debt 2022 35 293 M - -
P/E ratio 2022 41,5x
Yield 2022 0,56%
Capitalization 269 B 269 B -
EV / Sales 2022 3,64x
EV / Sales 2023 3,20x
Nbr of Employees 166 250
Free-Float 98,9%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 28
Last Close Price 148,11 $
Average target price 197,44 $
Spread / Average Target 33,3%
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Managers and Directors
Robert A. Chapek Chief Executive Officer & Director
Christine M. McCarthy Chief Financial Officer & Senior Executive VP
Robert A. Iger Executive Chairman
Diane Jurgens Chief Information Officer
Rebecca Campbell Chairman-International Operations
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