Shares of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) touched hit a lifetime high of $51.24 this morning, and are currently quoting at $51.16, up over 3 percent.
In breaking news, the company has teamed up with Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) to provide apps for Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) smartphones, including “Where’s My Perry?,” a game starring Perry the Platypus from the cartoon “Phineas and Ferb,” and “Where’s My Water?” featuring Swampy the Alligator. The Disney Channel is set to announce its new original TV movie called Girl vs. Monster, premiering on Friday, Oct. 12.
Last month, the company declared its fiscal third quarter earnings that shot up sharply from a year ago and breezed past market expectations. The main drivers for the strong performance were the hit Avengers film, and a good show from its media assets and theme parks. The film’s performance validated fully Disney’s $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment.
Earnings were a record at $1.83 billion compared to $1.48 billion last year. EPS came in at $1.01, better by 31% from the 77 cents last year. Revenues climbed 4% to $11.09 billion. The quarter firmly put behind memories of the disastrous John Carter film. Studio earnings jumped to $313 million from a mere $49 million in the year ago period. Theme parks earnings improved to $630 million from $519 million, while consumer articles put in a strong show of reporting earnings of $209 million, against $155 million last year.
Analysts have also stated that the company enjoys pricing strength in respect of its cable programming, particularly ESPN. Even at theme parks, and despite economic doldrums, Disney is in a position to raise pricing and get away with it.
On Valuewalk, we had written that the company presented an attractive valuation and an estimate that, based on forecast earnings, it could be worth $86.88 by the end of 2017, giving a 12.5% rate of return per annum.
The shares have already appreciated 36% this year. The quarterly results led many analysts to revise their price targets on the stock:
Janney Capital Markets (Tony Wible) – $56 from $49
Lazard Capital (Barton Crockett) – $56 from $53
Nomura Equity (Michael Nathanson) – $55 from $51
Bernstein Research (Todd Juenger) – $57 from $55
Given the performance of the stock today, these targets look eminently achievable.