Disney - Compelling Long-Term Investment In 2019 and Beyond

Stocks are entering 2019 in bear market territory and posted its worse quarter since the Great Depression after imploding in Q4 of 2018. Disney (DIS) has been a diamond in the rough given the negative backdrop albeit down from its 52-week high by 8%. This stock has bucked the negative trend and has demonstrated its resilience during this period. As this sell-off presents itself, long-term investors may want to take advantage of this weakness and initiate a position in this high-quality company at a discount. All the initiatives that Disney has taken over the previous two years to restore growth appear to be coming to fruition, namely its Fox (FOX) acquisition and its streaming initiatives. The Fox acquisition is complete now that the U.S. and China provided the green light for the combined entity thus Fox’s assets are now definitively being absorbed by Disney. As part of the contingencies, 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). The Fox acquisition brings a majority stake in Hulu (60% ownership) while its ESPN Plus launched earlier this year and had 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 a robust and durable revenue stream. 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 and analysts are beginning to resonate with Disney’s vision for future growth. This was reflected in its stock and had appreciated to a 52-week high before the market wide meltdown. Disney offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity in light of the recent weakness given its reinvention catalysts that will continue to bear fruit over the coming years. Continue reading "Disney - Compelling Long-Term Investment In 2019 and Beyond"

Hasbro Stock Struggling To Find Footing

The retail cohort reported a mixed bag during the most recent earnings season with Target (TGT), Khol’s (KSS), Gap (GPS), WalMart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY) and the Retail ETF (XRT) all experiencing downward pressure. This pressure has been exacerbated by the market wide sell-off in the broader indices. Hasbro (HAS) has struggled to find its footing moving into its historically biggest quarter. Hasbro 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. This sentiment has been further bolstered by positive commentary from its CEO that the company will absolve itself of this Toy R Us related bankruptcy headwind come 2019. As Hasbro realigns and effectively manages the Toy R Us liquidation, this challenging backdrop is beginning to resolve itself to Hasbro's benefit. There are many current and future growth catalysts for Hasbro in movie franchises such as Marvel, Star Wars and other Disney (DIS) properties (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 may benefit from a strong consumer, record low unemployment, 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.

E-Commerce Channels Mitigating Toys R Us Bankruptcy

Analysts are predicting e-commerce toy orders to balloon to 40% of overall sales this year, up from 28% last year. Since Toys R Us has gone bankrupt, this puts a void of ~14% of last year’s U.S. toy sales that needs to be bridged, translating into $2.5 billion in revenue. This void will likely be filled by Target, Walmart and Amazon (AMZN) which recently, for the first time it will offer free shipping to everyone through the day before Christmas with no minimum purchase required. Per Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink, 70% of toy sales occur during the holiday season. Target and Walmart have announced expanded free-shipping programs of their own to drive online sales. Wissink sees Hasbro’s stock hitting $120 within a year and notes that the overall set-up for 2019 looks better than 2018. As other retail chains close the gap with the Toys R Us vacancy, Hasbro will likely return to form and growth across its brands. Hasbro has one more quarter to report earnings in which the Toys R Us issues will be impacting its numbers. 2019 will be free of this headwind, and all numbers will come full circle and be compared to post Toys R Us landscape. Continue reading "Hasbro Stock Struggling To Find Footing"

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"