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The Main Street Philharmonic entertains guests at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida.
The Walt Disney Company’s better-than-expected earnings and upcoming streaming service have Wall Street glowing as the longtime media giant enters a whole new world of content delivery.
The shares rose 1.4 percent in premarket trading Friday, set to add to their 8 percent gain so far this year.
Though analysts were impressed with Disney’s studio revenue, which grew 50 percent from the prior year, many focused on its new over-the-top strategy (OTT), known as Disney+.
Set to launch in late 2019, the platform will host the company’s expansive movie collection (including Pixar content) and will be home to all new movies going forward, starting with the 2019 theatrical slate which includes “Toy Story 4,” “Frozen 2,” and the upcoming live-action “The Lion King.”
Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar told clients that the company’s upcoming Investor Day is likely to be a catalyst for the stock given the importance of the initiative.
“Disney also announced plans to host an Investor Day in April 2019, to announce more details on its OTT strategy,” the Barclays analyst wrote in a note. “We expect this to be a material catalyst for the stock, especially if the company provides enough details around investment needs of the service to de-risk estimates.”
Others, such as Morgan Stanley, said the broader impact of Disney’s direct-to-consumer offering will depend on the timing of its deal with Fox.
“Augmented further with Fox’s content production and international assets, as well as a majority ownership in Hulu, we believe New Disney can deliver healthy growth while executing on a successful transition into the streaming future of TV,” analyst Benjamin Swinburne wrote to clients.
Here is what some of Wall Street’s top analysts thought of Disney’s results.