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Under the given conditions, Disney (DIS) stock is suffering. In comparison with 2019, Disney stock lost 26.27%. At the moment of writing, it is 4.19% down, trading at $102.28.
The entertainment industry is one of the first to be badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus caused the cancellation of major events and left their future uncertain. A prime example of this malign influence is the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and its stock.
Firstly, the mass media and entertainment company has delayed the release of several films, including its blockbuster remake of Mulan and the Marvel film Black Widow. Besides, the dates for such horror films as The New Mutants and Antlers are also unknown now.
Secondly, Disney put the production of The Little Mermaid, Home Alone, The Last Duel, Nightmare Alley, and Peter Pan & Wendy on hold.
Furthermore, in mid-March, Disney shut down its theme parks in all parts of the world. Disney World in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Tokyo Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland and more are closed until further notice. The pandemic has also made the company furlough Disney World workers, leaving only 200 employees to “support essential business functions or support the resumption of business operations.”
Disney Stock Plunges
Under the given conditions, Disney (DIS) stock is also suffering. Its present performance differs a lot from the bright start of the year. In comparison with 2019, Disney stock lost 26.27%. On Friday, Disney shares ended at $106.63. The opening price today has been lower, $103.58. The price at the moment of writing is $102.28 (4.19% down).
At the beginning of April, Guggenheim Partners analysts lowered their Disney EPS estimate for fiscal 2020 to $2.94 from $5.20 and fiscal 2021 to $4.27 from $5.90.
The company said:
“Disney has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, impacted across virtually every segment of the company.”
Moreover, Guggenheim downgraded its rating to neutral from buy and cut Disney price target to $100 from $160.
Will Disney Survive?
The opinions on when Disney World and Disneyland can start their activity again have divided. Some believe it will happen as early as June, some believe the recession will last far longer.
As for movies, the company is losing incredible sums of money. Disney can do nothing but delay the releases and productions, and this halting is very expensive. It will cost a lot to reconstitute the sets and the production teams who were taken off their projects.
Both theme parks and movie theaters will re-open not right away. But hopefully, audiences will not be slow to return, as all are just tired of being under quarantine restriction and staying at home.
Disney, as well as other companies in the industry, will unlikely reach and surpass the results of the previous year. In 2019, Disney made almost $7 billion from its parks, experiences, and associated products business, which accounts for nearly half of its operating profits.
This week, Disney will stop paying 100,000 employees, which is half of its global workforce, as a move to smooth the economic storm it suffers. The move will save as much as $500 million in salary costs. However, it will make those employees to apply for benefits from the government, which has faced record unemployment levels even without that.