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With the questionable plan to reopen Disney World amidst coronavirus scare, Goldman Sachs has given DIS a bullish stock call.
Goldman Sachs is bullish on Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) whose stock rose by about 0.30% at the reporting time. Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of DIS stock with a buy rating and a $137 per share price target, which is more than 14% upside from the stock’s Friday close. The bullish call comes amidst plans by the company to reopen Disney World since it went on lockdown as the pandemic hit earlier in the year. Walt Disney (DIS) stock is down by 17% year to date coming off as one of the most impacted companies in the wake of the coronavirus induced lockdown.
The decision to reopen follows the reopening of the Walt Disney Shanghai theme park back in May but the U.S. plan has been met with mixed feelings. While some see the move as unfounded as the confirmed coronavirus cases keep breaking new daily highs, others believe that with strict adherence to laid down guidelines, the long-missed magic can return to the Disney parks. There is also an expectation that the reopening of the park will lead to increased subscription for Disney+ which will also impact the stock position.
Walt Disney and Disney World
The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California. Disney World is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the United States, near the cities of Orlando and Kissimmee. Opened on October 1, 1971, the resort is owned and operated by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, a division of The Walt Disney Company.
The property covers nearly 25,000 acres (39 sq mi; 101 km2), of which only half has been used. The resort comprises four theme parks (consisting of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), two water parks, 27 themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues, including the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs.
In 2018, Walt Disney World was the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an average annual attendance of more than 58 million. The resort is the flagship destination of Disney’s worldwide corporate enterprise and has become a popular staple in American culture. It went on lockdown in March 2020 and the phased reopening has been faulted based on the coronavirus concerns in its State of Location, Florida.
Concerns and Proposed Precautions to Aid Full Opening
The daily COVID-19 cases in Florida hit 15,000 representing a new all-time high of any state in the U.S. Death toll also rose to 514 in the past week. The situation is no way better than it was when the park went on lockdown in March and the plan to reopen has raised safety concerns. With the plans to proceed with the reopening, there are key takeaways as outlined by CNN for which every visitor must note. Besides the No Mask No Entry policy, the fireworks and parades in the park are on indefinite suspension in order to discourage crowd gathering. The use of hand sanitizers is also greatly encouraged as thousands of such units are made available and the choices of hotels and restaurants are limited in order to minimize exposure.
The measures being put in place will in no way make the experiences similar to what it used to be. However, many people have argued that it would be worth depending on how visitors make it to be. While the decision to visit the reopened park is a choice for Americans, the contention remains whether the laid down measures can help keep the highly contagious disease out of the resort area.