Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Disney’s higher programming costs at ESPN remains a concern. Additionally, ongoing investments in its technology platform are expected to keep margins under pressure. Weakness in the Consumer Products & Interactive Media segment is also a headwind. Moreover, higher labor-related costs and softness experienced in tourism and consumer confidence in China are likely to impact Parks & Resorts segment in the near term. However, Disney’s blockbuster performance at the box office bodes well. Additionally, its top line is expected to benefit from the solid line-up of big budget movies slated to be released over the next 18 months. Moreover, solid content portfolio at ESPN+ as well as impressive Disney+ original content line-up, expected to release in 2019, is expected to win subscribers rapidly. Shares have outperformed the industry over the past year.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on DIS. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Walt Disney from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 15th. ValuEngine raised Walt Disney from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. B. Riley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Walt Disney in a research report on Friday, November 9th. Barclays raised Walt Disney from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $104.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Pivotal Research reissued a “sell” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Walt Disney in a report on Sunday, September 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $122.37.

Shares of DIS stock traded down $0.26 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $112.54. 315,896 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,722,282. The company has a current ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. The company has a market cap of $167.73 billion, a PE ratio of 15.90, a PEG ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 1.05. Walt Disney has a fifty-two week low of $97.68 and a fifty-two week high of $120.20.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The entertainment giant reported $1.48 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.17. Walt Disney had a return on equity of 21.43% and a net margin of 21.20%. The business had revenue of $14.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.76 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 11.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Walt Disney will post 7.05 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Walt Disney news, Chairman Robert A. Iger sold 47,733 shares of Walt Disney stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total transaction of $5,727,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Brent Woodford sold 721 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.13, for a total transaction of $72,914.73. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 26,910 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,721,408.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 58,339 shares of company stock worth $6,887,207. 0.38% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DIS. Highwater Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Walt Disney during the 4th quarter worth about $56,000. Canton Hathaway LLC purchased a new stake in Walt Disney during the third quarter worth about $107,000. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. acquired a new position in Walt Disney during the second quarter worth about $112,000. Fort L.P. acquired a new position in Walt Disney during the second quarter worth about $121,000. Finally, Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC raised its position in Walt Disney by 807.2% during the third quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,134 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $133,000 after acquiring an additional 1,009 shares during the last quarter. 62.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Walt Disney

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an entertainment company worldwide. The company's Media Networks segment operates cable programming businesses under the ESPN, Disney, and Freeform brands; broadcast businesses, including ABC TV Network and eight owned television stations; and radio businesses.

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