Disney: Fox Acquisition, Streaming, and Tax Reform

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Introduction

FY2018 is off to an excellent start for The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) with a confluence of growth catalysts via streaming, studio strength, Fox acquisition and tax reform legislation. Disney has been establishing a firm footing in the streaming space via Hulu (30% stake and will likely be expanded to a majority 60% stake after the Fox acquisition), BAMTech, Sling, ESPN streaming service and a Disney branded service coming in 2019. The studio segment is off to a great start with record-breaking movie releases such as Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi surpassing $850 and $900 million in worldwide box office receipts, respectively. Disney is evolving to address the deteriorating Media Networks business segment with major streaming initiatives. Disney has one of its biggest movie slates for FY2018 with Blank Panther, The Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story around the corner. Disney also announced that it is acquiring 21st Century Fox’s assets to further drive growth for $52 billion. This acquisition brings in noteworthy studio assets such as more Marvel properties (X-Men, Fantastic 4 and Suicide Squad) and Avatar along with TV content, regional sports and a 60% majority stake in Hulu. Disney currently pays a 33% effective tax rate and now with tax reform signed into law; this rate will be dramatically reduced a third to 21%. Disney can deploy more cash into growth initiatives and return value to shareholders via increased dividends and share buybacks with the increased cash flow. Disney offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity considering the growth, Fox acquisition, pipeline, Media Networks remediation plan, diversity of its portfolio, tax reform, share repurchase program and dividend growth.

Transformative Fox Acquisition

Disney shelled out $52 billion to acquire many of Fox’s assets to drive future growth in regional sports, movies, TV programming and foreign market penetration. This is a transformative acquisition as Disney will take control of the movie studio and significant TV production assets and gain exposure to international markets through Fox’s networks via a 39% ownership of Sky (Figures 1, 2 and 3). In addition to the movie studio, TV production and international assets such as Star and Sky, Disney will also add entertainment networks such as FX and National Geographic. Bob Iger stated that the deal should close in 12-18 months and highlighted the chance to expand Fox's Avatar franchise particularly considering new theme park lands. In addition to expanding the Marvel Universe via X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool, Disney will obtain Fox's distribution rights to the first Star Wars film. The deal will be accretive to EPS for the second fiscal year after closing, says Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, and Disney expects roughly $2B in cost synergies by 2021. Taking a majority stake in Hulu will further accelerate Disney’s streaming capabilities and compete directly with Netflix (NFLX). Taking majority control of Hulu is going to be beneficial and result in "flowing more content in Hulu's direction," and managing Hulu "becomes a little more clear, a little more effective." Turning to sports, combining Fox’s sports content with Disney’s ESPN will be synergistic and a "perfect complement" to ESPN's offerings, which are national in nature and will benefit from regional focus, Iger says. Continue reading "Disney: Fox Acquisition, Streaming, and Tax Reform"

Hasbro - Major Tailwinds Ahead

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Introduction

It’s been an eventful couple of months for Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), the third largest toy maker in the world with Toys R Us filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy and a rumored acquisition of rival toymaker Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) all while the stock has been trading erratically in the backdrop with 10% swings in the stock price. As a result of the Toys R Us bankruptcy filing, Hasbro had to lower its guidance through the holiday season, and as a result, shares initially tumbled 9% on the news. Recently, Hasbro had witnessed a huge sell-off from its 52-week high of $116 to $88 or a 24% slide after reporting its most recent quarterly results with lowered guidance due to the Toys R Us bankruptcy filing. Hasbro develops toys for many of the multi-billion dollar movie franchises such as Marvel Universe, Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Frozen, Transformers and Jurassic World. Hasbro has many catalysts in the near term with major movie franchises coming into the fray with upcoming Disney releases: Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to round out 2017. It's noteworthy to point out that Thor: Ragnarok has topped $675 million thus far at the international box office and closing in on the $750 million mark in theatrical release rising to the 10th highest grossing movie in 2017. In 2018, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars Han Solo spinoff and Ant-Man and The Wasp to highlight a few major movies. Taking into account Hasbro’s growth, the potential acquisition of Mattel, Q4 2017-Q2 2018 catalysts, trading at a P/E of ~20, boasting a 2.4% yield and initiatives within Hasbro Studios to propel growth further presents a compelling buy after this recent sell-off below $100 per share. Continue reading "Hasbro - Major Tailwinds Ahead"

Disney's Pivot - Future Autonomy and Growth

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Introduction

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) just reported its full-year FY2017 numbers with its Q4 numbers falling short of analysts’ estimates, missing on both EPS and revenue coming in at $1.07 (missing by $0.08) and $12.78 billion (missing by $560 million), respectively. On an annual basis, EPS marginally decreased to $5.69 for FY2017 from $5.72 for FY2016. All financial metrics insignificantly decreased year-over-year with a slight increase in free cash flow. All operating segments insignificantly decreased year-over-year as well. However, Parks and Resorts were a bright spot for FY2017. Now with FY2017 in the books, FY2018 is off to a great start with strongholds in streaming (Hulu, BAMTech, Sling offerings), future inroads into other streaming initiatives with a Disney branded service to directly compete with Netflix (NFLX) and an ESPN streaming offering slated for release in 2018 and finally a record-breaking movie release with Thor: Ragnarok already surpassing $212 million domestically and $650 million worldwide on its way to possibly breaking the prestigious 1 billion dollar mark only after two weeks in release. I feel too much of an emphasis is being placed on ESPN as it weighs less on overall profits. Disney is evolving to address the deteriorating Media Networks business segment with initiatives put forth previously and doubling down during its recent conference call. Investors appear to be looking past this ESPN issue finally as seen in the price action of Disney stock after releasing a lukewarm earnings announcement. Disney has one of its biggest movie slates for FY2018 and a potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets to further drive growth. Disney offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity considering the growth, pipeline, Media Networks remediation plan, diversity of its portfolio, share repurchase program and dividend growth.

Disney’s New Growth Pivot - Streaming

ESPN remained at the forefront of investors’ minds, serving as the root cause of this streaming initiative as profits and revenue from the Media Networks division have stalled out over the past few years. Simply put, Disney is going all-in on a Disney branded streaming service come 2019. As investors digest the earnings report and fixate on the eroding Media Networks division, I think Disney is offering a long-term buying opportunity near ~$100 per share. This has been seen by the price movement in Disney stock post-earnings which saw a ~3% move to the upside despite the disappointing earnings announcement. Although ESPN makes up a disproportionate amount of the company’s revenue and income, all of its other franchises are posting robust growth hence Disney will be relying less on its ESPN franchise over the coming years. Disney’s perpetual stock slump and the roller coaster ride over the last two years has almost entirely been attributable to the decrease in ESPN subscribers and subsequent revenue slowdown at its Media Networks division. Continue reading "Disney's Pivot - Future Autonomy and Growth"

Hasbro - Future Catalysts Post Sell-Off

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


The Backdrop

Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) is the third largest toy marker in the world and develops many household brands and games such as the iconic Monopoly board game, G.I. Joe figurines, Play-Doh, and My Little Pony. Hasbro also has exclusive contracts with major movie studios such as Disney and Universal to develop and distribute toys. Hasbro develops toys for many of the multi-billion dollar movie franchises such as Marvel Universe, Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Frozen, Transformers and Jurassic World. Throughout 2017, Hasbro has witnessed a bullish run, up nearly 27% year-to-date however the stock sold off from its 52-week high of $116 to $93 or a 20% slide after reporting it most recent quarterly results. Hasbro has many catalysts in the near term with major movie franchises coming into the fray with upcoming Disney releases: Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to round out 2017. In 2018, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars Han Solo spinoff and Ant-Man and The Wasp to highlight a few major movies. Taking into account Hasbro’s growth, back-half of the year catalysts, trading at a P/E of ~20, boasting a 2.4% yield and initiatives within Hasbro Studios to propel growth further presents a compelling buy after this recent sell-off.

Major Disney Catalysts Ahead

With Q3 well under way and Q4 on the horizon (historically Hasbro’s strongest quarters), I think Hasbro can produce strong quarters moving into the back half of the year. It’s noteworthy to point out that Hasbro has exclusive rights with Disney to produce Marvel Comics and Star Wars toys which last through 2020 and Hasbro is also the licensed doll maker for the Disney Princess line (Moana and Frozen are included) which started on January 1st, 2016 (Figure 1). Continue reading "Hasbro - Future Catalysts Post Sell-Off"

Initiating a Position, Generating Income or Lowering Cost Basis - Covered Puts

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Levering cash with options

I’ve written numerous articles on options trading and how one can leverage options over the long-term to mitigate risk, generate income and accentuate returns. Leveraging options to supplement portfolio returns can make a meaningful impact on overall returns, especially over the long-term. Here, I’ll focus on covered puts, covered in the sense that one is backing his option contract with cash on hand. This strategy generates income in the form of a premium that’s received by the option seller. A topic that’s rarely covered is the different objectives or strategies and what to do about shares that are assigned from a covered put contract. Here, I’ll focus on covered puts and discuss the strategy involved before selling a put contract, objectives when engaging in these put options and if/when shares from the contract are assigned. Continue reading "Initiating a Position, Generating Income or Lowering Cost Basis - Covered Puts"