Disney: Fox Acquisition and Strong ESPN Numbers

Stock Trends Upward to New Highs

Disney (DIS) has finally broken out to new highs as the Fox (FOX) acquisition, and its streaming initiatives come into the fold. Now that the Fox acquisition is complete and its assets are being absorbed by Disney this once opaque situation now appears clear and definitive. Furthermore, Disney is divesting its 39% Sky ownership stake that it acquired via the Fox acquisition to Comcast (CMCSA). This divestiture enables Disney to reduce its debt that was required to purchase the Fox media assets and will allow more investment into its streaming services such as Hulu, ESPN Plus and its Disney branded streaming service that will directly compete with Netflix (NFLX) in 2019. The Fox acquisition brings a majority stake in Hulu (60% ownership) while its ESPN Plus launched earlier this year and has over 1 million subscribers in its early phases of being rolled out. Disney continues to dominate at the box office while posting great growth at its theme parks translating into robust and durable revenue streams. The company is evolving to meet the new age of media consumption demands of the consumer via streaming and on-demand content. To this end, shareholders are beginning to resonate with Disney’s vision for future growth and the stock has appreciated to a 52-week high as of late-breaking above the $118 level. Disney currently trades at a P/E of 14.5 while the average stock in the S&P 500 trades at ~25, representing a ~40% discount to the average stock in the index. Disney offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity given its backdrop.

ESPN Plus – Subscriber Numbers Released

ESPN Plus was launched earlier this year in April to a mixed skeptical reception among shareholders and consumers upon its debut. Due to precipitous declines in ESPN viewership via traditional cable, Disney was cornered to remediate its ESPN business and evolve to the cord cutting consumer. Recently, Disney announced a key milestone for its streaming platform, reaching over 1 million paid subscribers. ESPN is Disney’s first inroads into the streaming arena offering a package of sports which include Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), college football, soccer, boxing and UFC for $4.99 per month. Disney has kept its ESPN Plus subscriber numbers a secret and would only state that its paid subscriptions were "strong" and that growth was surpassing expectations. Continue reading "Disney: Fox Acquisition and Strong ESPN Numbers"

Disney Continues Path via Future Growth Initiatives

Disney’s Growth and Future Initiatives

Disney delivered solid Q3 FY2018 quarterly results as the company continues to be focused on future initiatives such as acquiring Twenty-First Century Fox assets and a major push into streaming with a majority stake in Hulu (60% ownership), ESPN Plus launch earlier this year and direct to consumer Disney branded streaming service coming in 2019. Disney’s Q3 revenue and EPS grew by 7.3% and 18%, respectively year-over-year. Disney continues to deliver at the box office, and theme parks and its stock has finally broken out above the $110 level and appears to be consolidating above this level. Disney’s brands are ubiquitous and providing long-lasting, durable revenue streams that transcend theme parks, toys, merchandise, movie franchises, streaming initiatives, Fox properties and international reach. Disney is closing the gap in streaming as Hulu grows rapidly and in the backdrop, ESPN+ and direct to consumer Disney branded streaming service matures and comes to fruition. Disney currently trades at a P/E of 14.1 while the average stock in the S&P 500 trades at 24.9 representing a 40% discount to the average stock. Disney has been growing its dividend over the years and currently yields 1.5% to bolster Disney’s investment thesis further. 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 (on suspension) and dividend growth. Continue reading "Disney Continues Path via Future Growth Initiatives"

Hasbro Spikes 13% Following Positive Q2 Earnings

Hasbro's stock skyrocketed 13% after reporting better than expected Q2 earnings. Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) is setting the post-Toys "R" Us bankruptcy narrative and laying out a business roadmap for long-term profitable growth across its brands. The headwinds attributable to the bankruptcy of Toy "R" Us appear to be subsiding. Hasbro reported year-over-year overall revenue decline of 7%, however, beat on EPS and revenue by posting $0.48 (bearing by $0.18) and $904.5 million (beating by $66.4 million), respectively. Despite the negative revenue numbers, Hasbro's stock bounced to the upside especially after the earnings call commentary painted a positive long-term narrative while weathering the Toy "R" Us liquidation domestically and abroad. As Hasbro realigns and effectively manages the Toy R Us liquidation, this challenging backdrop is beginning to resolve itself to Hasbro's benefit. There's many current and future growth catalysts for Hasbro in movie franchises such as Marvel, Star Wars and other Disney properties since Hasbro is the exclusive toy maker, potential e-sports with Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, newly acquired Power Rangers franchise which will emulate Hasbro's My Little Pony and Transformers' Bumblebee within Hasbro Studios and its legacy games such as Monopoly and Nerf. Hasbro has great Q3/Q4 2018 catalysts, a strong and growing dividend yield, clear skies post Toy "R" Us liquidation and putting forth initiatives within Hasbro Studios to further propel growth thus presenting a compelling long-term buy.

Jim Cramer’s Mad Money Follow-Up Interview - “The Worst Is Over”

Previously, Jim Cramer interviewed Hasbro's CEO Brian Goldner on Mad Money, and he was confident that "the worst is over" for Hasbro as the Toys "R" Us liquidation unfolds. Goldner went on to say "I am certain that, a year from now, we will not be talking about Toys "R" Us in this negative light," Goldner added.

Now as a follow-on from that interview, conducted on July 23rd, Jim Cramer caught up Goldner to assess the progress Hasbro was making towards circumventing the Toys "R" Us liquidation and its other growth initiatives within the company. Continue reading "Hasbro Spikes 13% Following Positive Q2 Earnings"

Disney Continues To Deliver

Disney continues to deliver at the box office and theme parks, yet its stock price has been stubbornly stuck in a tight trading range of $98-$110. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) can’t seem to break out despite breaking record after record at the box office and throughout its theme parks thus far in 2018. Disney’s brands are ubiquitous and providing long-lasting, durable revenue streams that transcend theme parks, toys, merchandise, streaming initiatives and international reach. Disney’s Marvel franchise posted back-to-back record-shattering $200-plus million weekend openings at the box office for Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War became the third and fourth highest grossing movies of all-time domestically, respectively. Avengers: Infinity War broke through the $2 billion thresholds at the worldwide box office becoming the fourth movie to achieve that feat. If that wasn’t impressive enough, The Incredibles 2 shattered box office records during its opening weekend debut, not only shattering the previous opening weekend record for an animated film but finishing with one of the top ten openings of all-time for a film of any genre. Ant-Man and The Wasp hit theaters as the third Marvel movie thus far in 2018 and is expected to deliver very strong numbers as an ancillary Marvel film during its opening weekend.

Meanwhile Disney's Parks and Resorts are posting strong growth while shoring up its stalling Media Networks segment with a confluence of growth catalysts via streaming with 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 to directly compete with Netflix (NFLX). Disney is closing the gap in streaming as Hulu grows much more rapidly than Netflix and in the backdrop, ESPN and direct to consumer Disney branded streaming service comes to fruition. Disney recently reported Q2 FY2018 revenue growth across every business segment with an overall revenue growth of 9%. 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. Continue reading "Disney Continues To Deliver"

Goldman Sachs - A Compelling Long-Term Buy

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech - Goldman Sachs


Favorable Backdrop and Financials

The latest Federal Reserve meeting indicated that interest rate increases might need to be accelerated while boosting its domestic GDP estimates for 2018 and 2019 alluding to a domestic and global economic expansion. Augmenting this economic backdrop is a record number of IPOs, a record number of global merger and acquisitions, rising interest rates, market volatility, deregulation and tax reform. All of these elements provide an ideal confluence that bodes well for the financial sector. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) in particular looks to benefit in unique ways due to the consulting fees regarding mergers and acquisitions, trading around market volatility, launching of its cryptocurrency futures contracts as well as rising interest rates as Goldman Sachs has entered into the commercial banking segment when the bank acquired GE Capital’s savings business in 2016 assuming approximately $16 billion of deposits at the time. JP Morgan (JPM), Citi (C) and Bank of America (BAC) are all poised to benefit from the favorable economic backdrop as well however I feel Goldman is in a unique position to benefit across the board in all business segments. Goldman Sachs is relatively inexpensive based on historical standards after a string of quarterly results that have beat Wall Street’s estimates. Goldman Sachs offers a 1.3% dividend yield that was recently increased and a share buyback program to augment the overall favorable backdrop providing a compelling long-term buy. Continue reading "Goldman Sachs - A Compelling Long-Term Buy"