Walt Disney Company (The) (NYSE:DIS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Disney’s shares have outpaced the industry in a year driven by sturdy movie business and solid performance of Parks & Resorts. The studio will continue its success given an impressive lineup of big budget movies up to 2018. The company’s decision to terminate distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming and having its own streaming services – one for Disney and Pixar brands and another for ESPN followers is likely to be a driving factor in the long run. However, the stock recently came under pressure after CEO cautioned that fiscal 2017 earnings are likely to be similar to last year. Ongoing concerns regarding ESPN future and havoc at its Lucasfilm division due to the delay in the release of Star Wars: Episode IX also hurt the stock. Nevertheless, in an effort to attract online viewers, Disney, which had earlier acquired 33% stake BAMTech, announced its intention to acquire another 42% stake in the firm.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price objective (down previously from $125.00) on shares of Walt Disney Company (The) in a research report on Friday, September 8th. FBR & Co reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $97.00 price objective on shares of Walt Disney Company (The) in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Guggenheim reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 target price (down from $128.00) on shares of Walt Disney Company (The) in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 target price on shares of Walt Disney Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Walt Disney Company (The) in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Walt Disney Company (The) currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $113.40.

Walt Disney Company (The) (NYSE:DIS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The entertainment giant reported $1.58 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.53 by $0.05. Walt Disney Company (The) had a return on equity of 19.69% and a net margin of 16.22%. The company had revenue of $14.24 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.44 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.62 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .3% on a year-over-year basis.

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In other news, Director Maria Elena Lagomasino bought 976 shares of Walt Disney Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $102.34 per share, with a total value of $99,883.84. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 7,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $768,880.42. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.38% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Advantus Capital Management Inc grew its position in Walt Disney Company (The) by 6.5% in the third quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 156,309 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $15,407,000 after acquiring an additional 9,481 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc grew its position in Walt Disney Company (The) by 4.8% in the third quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 149,455 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $14,732,000 after acquiring an additional 6,879 shares in the last quarter. Telos Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Walt Disney Company (The) by 3.0% in the third quarter. Telos Capital Management Inc. now owns 32,394 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $3,193,000 after acquiring an additional 942 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Walt Disney Company (The) by 2.4% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,787,855 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $274,799,000 after acquiring an additional 64,704 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Exchange Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Walt Disney Company (The) by 2.0% in the third quarter. Exchange Capital Management Inc. now owns 52,244 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $5,150,000 after acquiring an additional 1,033 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.41% of the company’s stock.

Walt Disney Company (The) Company Profile

The Walt Disney Company is an entertainment company. The Company operates in four business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, and Consumer Products & Interactive Media. The media networks segment includes cable and broadcast television networks, television production and distribution operations, domestic television stations, and radio networks and stations.

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Analyst Recommendations for Walt Disney Company (The) (NYSE:DIS)

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