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Walt Disney (DIS) -1.7% despite spike in Disney+ subscribers
Walt Disney (DIS) closed 1.70% lower on Friday, even though the media conglomerate posted a surprise Q4 profit and another notable rise in subscriber numbers for its popular streaming service.
Late on Thursday, Disney came in with $0.32 per share earnings and $16.25bn for the three months to 2nd January versus the $0.34 EPS loss and $15.90bn revenue forecast by Wall Street.
Disney followed its top and bottom–line beats by revealing that almost 95 million people are now subscribed to its Disney+ service, a figure that came in way ahead of the 90.7 million consensus.
Analysts and investors are very impressed with this number, considering that the platform only launched 15 months ago.
Disney’s own bullish expectations to reach up to 260 million by 2024 now do not seem misplaced.
The service, home to new Pixar movie Soul and live action remake Mulan, helped to generate $3.5bn in total direct-to-consumer revenues.
While Disney’s digital offering is thriving, the company’s parks segment continues to struggle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with revenues declining 53% year over year.
Disney is still planning to cut 32,000 jobs – the majority at theme parks – by the end of March.
“We believe the strategic actions we’re taking to transform our Company will fuel our growth and enhance shareholder value,” CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement.
Following the report, several analysts raised their price targets for DIS, with Morgan Stanley now offering $200 and KeyBanc pivoting higher to $225.
Disney shares did hit an all-time high for a short period on Friday morning before falling back.
DIS eventually finished down 1.70% on the New York Stock Exchange at $187.67.
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