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Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript
DIS Earnings Call - Final Transcript
May 6, 2020


Walt Disney Company (DIS) Q2 2020 earnings call dated May 05, 2020



Corporate Participants:
Lowell Singer — Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Robert A. Iger — Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board

Bob Chapek — Chief Executive Officer

Christine M. McCarthy — Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Analysts:
Ben Swinburne — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Alexia Quadrani — JP Morgan — Analyst

Doug Mitchelson — Credit Suisse — Analyst

Jessica Reif Ehrlich — Bank of America Securities — Analyst

Michael Nathanson — MoffettNathanson — Analyst

Steven Cahall — Wells Fargo — Analyst

Jason Bazinet — Citi — Analyst

John Hodulik — UBS — Analyst

John Janedis — Wolfe Research — Analyst

Presentation:
Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to The Walt Disney Company’s Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Mr. Lowell Singer, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Thank you. Please go ahead, sir.



Lowell Singer — Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Good afternoon and welcome to The Walt Disney Company’s second quarter 2020 earnings call. Our press release was issued about 25 minutes ago and is available on our website at www.disney.com/investors. Today’s call is also being webcast and the webcast and a transcript will also be available on our website.

We hope you’re all staying safe and we realize that most of you are joining us today from your homes. And given Los Angeles County’s Safer at Home Order, we are hosting today’s call remotely. So joining me from their homes are Bob Iger, Disney’s Chairman; Bob Chapek, Disney’s Chief Executive Officer; and Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Following comments from Bob Iger, Bob Chapek and Christine, we will be happy to take some questions.



So with that let me turn the call over to Bob Iger to get started.

Robert A. Iger — Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board

Thanks, Lowell and good afternoon everyone. Obviously much has changed in the world since our last earnings call and the challenges we’re now facing are unprecedented. Like so many other companies and industries, the pandemic has hit us hard and both Bob and Christine will walk you through the specifics. However, as someone who has been around for a while and led this Company through some really tough days over the last 15 years, including economic downturns, natural disasters and other unforeseen events, I have absolute confidence in our ability to get through this challenging period and recover successfully. The Walt Disney Company has demonstrated repeatedly over its nearly 100-year history that it is exceptionally resilient and I believe this time will be no different.



We entered this crisis with a strong hand and an exceptional management team now led by Bob Chapek. And as we said in February when Bob was announced as CEO, he and I continued to work in partnership in support of the Company’s objectives and to ensure a smooth and successful transition. As you would expect when dealing with a challenge of this magnitude the entire team is working closely together taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the difficult issues we’re facing.

Of course, one key to our resilience is the strength of our brands and the strong emotional connection people have to them, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, ABC, ESPN and Star Wars. In fact, recent studies have shown we’ve maintained that connection with consumers throughout this crisis. We also have a tremendous collection of assets and beyond that what we create has never been more necessary or more important than right now.



In fact, it’s quite possible that what we create is appreciated now more than ever because people find comfort and inspiration in our messages of hope and optimism. This is the same reason we believe people will resume familiar activities once this crisis ends. They missed doing the things they enjoy, things that make them feel happy and connected with family and friends. Whether it’s going to movie theaters to see our films or visiting our theme parks around the world or watching live sports on ESPN, people want good news. They want to experience joy and the feeling of togetherness. And for all these reasons, we will continue to tell stories that uplift and enrich people’s lives.

While much of our operations are shutdown, we’ve been fortunate to keep parts of our creative pipeline active, including a number of writing and development projects while also continuing post production work for our Media Networks, our studios and Disney+. And I’ve been working with our creative teams across the Company and I am extremely excited about what’s in store. I have no doubt that we will get through this, but it will take some time.



Before I turn it over to Bob and Christine to talk about the quarter and the strategy going forward and to answer your questions, I want to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for all of the medical professionals across our country who are fighting valiantly to save lives and to everyone helping to flatten the curve by hearing to the advice of health officials and others. It’s all making a difference.

On behalf of Bob and myself, I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our employees around the world who continue to show incredible ingenuity, commitment, patience and understanding during these trying times. Even in the face of adversity, their dedication to our Company and our mission is unwavering and we couldn’t be more proud of them.

And with that, I’ll hand it over to Bob.

Bob Chapek — Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Bob, and good afternoon everyone. I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe. When I stepped into this new job 2.5 months ago, none of us could have imagined the suffering and sacrifice that we’re now seeing around the world. This devastating pandemic is like nothing most of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. It has had a profound impact on millions of lives, physically, psychologically, financially, causing tremendous hardship and loss. And just about everyone has been affected in one way or another, either personally or through someone they know, a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague.

Fortunately amidst the adversity, we see the best of humanity demonstrated through inspiring acts of compassion and selflessness from the courageous healthcare workers caring for people on the front lines in hospitals across the country to our first responders and others providing essential services throughout communities. We’re grateful for and deeply appreciative of their efforts.

Here at Disney, as Bob mentioned, we’re also grateful to our own employees, starting with our local and national ABC News teams providing critical and factual information around the clock, our ESPN team providing compelling programming in the absence of live sports, our global security personnel and key staff who are safeguarding and maintaining our parks and resorts, they’re doing a phenomenal job and we could not be more proud of them.

As you know, Disney, like many other companies, has experienced widespread disruption. In mid-March, we closed our domestic parks and hotels indefinitely, suspended our cruise line, halted film and TV productions and shuttered our retail stores. And while these were necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and employees, our businesses have been hugely impacted.

In the second fiscal quarter, adjusted EPS fell to $0.60 a share from $1.61 a year earlier primarily due to the suspended operations I just outlined. Christine will talk more in depth about our results for the quarter and the ongoing financial impact of COVID-19. Before she does, I want to share a few thoughts on the disruption we’re seeing across our Company as well as our confidence in our ability to weather this storm.

While it’s too early to predict when we’ll be able to begin resuming all of our operations, we are evaluating a number of different scenarios to ensure a cautious, sensible and deliberate approach to the eventual reopening of our parks. As you know our parks have been closed around the world, Shanghai and Hong Kong since January, Tokyo since February and our US and Paris parks since mid-March. The approach we take may include implementation of guest capacity and density control measures as well as health and prevention procedures that comply with state and federal guidelines. We are seeing encouraging signs of a gradual return to some semblance of normalcy in China. And in light of the lifting of certain restrictions in recent weeks and the successful reopening of our park adjacent retail and food and beverage area Disneytown, we and our government partners Shanghai Shendi Group plan to open Shanghai Disneyland on May 11. We will take a phased approach with limits on attendance using an advanced reservation and entry system, controlled guest density using social distancing and strict government required health and prevention procedures. These include the use of masks, temperature screenings and other contact tracing and early detection systems.

Moving to Media Networks, ESPN has truly stepped up in the absence of live sports, finding new and innovative ways to deliver compelling content that fans want. This included releasing two months early the highly anticipated 10-part docu series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, The Last Dance. The series which continues through May 17th is the most viewed ESPN documentary ever and currently ranks as the number one program in America amongst all key male demos since sports open. ESPN also took what has historically been an engaging life event and turned into a virtual one with the NFL Draft. This resulted in a bigger audience than ever before with a record 55 million plus viewers over the three-day event. The Draft was a particularly impressive technological feat driven by more than 600 remote camera feeds from homes across the US.

When you look at the impact of these two events, ESPN’s April prime time audience was up 11% versus last year among adults 18 to 49. In fact, it ranked as the top cable network among this key demographic. Going forward, ESPN is going to be rolling out three new films as part of its award winning 30 for 30 series. We’re also going to air virtual 2020 SPs on June 21st. Additionally, ESPN will be bringing back several more of its marque studio programs beginning the week of May 11th. This will expand their live and quick turnaround studio programming to 11 straight hours each weekday.

Sports will come back strong and when they do we believe ESPN is best positioned to benefit with more offerings than anyone else. And if it’s a gradual process where sports return for a period without spectators in the stands, we can count on ESPN to bring the same level of innovation that we saw with the NFL draft and continue to deliver a great experience for sports fans.

On the studio side, we’re incredibly excited about our upcoming slate of films. However, with theaters closed and our production shutdown due to COVID-19, we’ve had to reschedule a number of release dates for Temple [Phonetic] movies. These include Disney’s Mulan for July 24th, Marvel’s Black Widow for November 6th, Pixar’s Soul on November 20th and 20th Century’s Free Guy set for December 11th.

As many of you already know Artemis Fowl originally slated for a theatrical run will debut exclusively on Disney+ starting on June 12th. As we’ve said our Company’s top priority and key to our growth is our direct to consumer business. And I’m pleased to say that the response to Disney+ in particular has exceeded even our highest expectations. We have been thrilled with the performance of the service since our initial launch in November and we continue to expand into other markets.

In late March as planned and despite COVID-19, we had an incredibly successful launch of Disney+ in Western Europe, followed by a highly successful launch in India. We announced in early April that in just five months, we had surpassed 50 million subscribers globally, a significant milestone for us. We’ve been quite pleased with the growth that we’ve seen in the four weeks since then and there is more to come.

Disney+ will begin rolling out in Japan in June, followed by the Nordics, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal in September and Latin America will follow towards the end of the year. This robust collection of library and original content available on Disney+ continues to grow, including with Disney’s Frozen 2 and Pixar’s Onward, which were released early as a special offering for families as they shelter at home, yesterday’s SVOD Premier of Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker and the new behind the scenes documentary about the making of one of Disney+’s most successful series The Mandalorian along with the fall premiere of National Geographic’s original series, The Right Stuff, based on the book by Tom Wolfe about NASA’s project Mercury. This quarter Hulu saw the successful launch of the FX on Hulu. Nearly 45% of Hulu’s subscribers has access to library, current and original content from the FX Networks on the service. Also Hulu’s strong original series continued to perform extremely well as evidenced by the critically acclaimed hit series Little Fires Everywhere amongst others. Hulu had 32 million total subscribers at the end of Q2. We are enormously proud of what we’ve accomplished to date and we’re optimistic for the future.

As I said earlier, our businesses have experienced considerable disruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This forced us to implement a variety of measures to manage the short and long-term financial impact on our Company. The first was a substantial reduction in senior executive compensation company-wide which will remain in effect until we see a substantive economic recovery. We were fortunate for the first five weeks to be able to pay full salaries to those employees who were unable to perform their duties. However, with no way to predict when this crisis will end, we made a very difficult decision to begin furloughs on April 19th. Unlike layoffs, the furlough process allows impacted workers to remain as Disney employees, while continuing to receive their full healthcare benefits paid for by the Company.

We are fully committed to getting our employees back to work as quickly as the current situation allows. While these were not easy decisions, I do believe they have been the right ones due to the unprecedented challenges that we’re faced with.

Now before I turn it over to Christine, let me just reiterate what Bob said, and that is, Disney is an exceptionally resilient company. With a great management team and thousands of talented and dedicated employees, we continue to deliver the exceptional brands, franchises and storytelling that consumers around the world have demonstrated a tremendous affinity for and we are confident that we will emerge from this crisis in a strong position.

With that, I’ll turn it over to Christine to talk more about the quarter and then we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Christine M. McCarthy — Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Bob, and good afternoon everyone. These are truly unprecedented times and the COVID- 19 pandemic has affected our Company in a number of significant ways. From a financial standpoint we estimate the adverse impact of COVID-19 related disruption on our second quarter operating income was as much as $1.4 billion with the majority of that impact at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment. As a result, excluding certain items affecting comparability, earnings per share from continuing operations for the second quarter were $0.60.
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https://tweakers.net/nieuws/170540/disn ... nnees.html

Disney+ heeft meer dan 60,5 miljoen betalende abonnees
Zo'n negen maanden na de start van Disney+ in Nederland heeft de streamingdienst nu een aantal van meer dan 60,5 miljoen betalende abonnees bereikt. Dat aantal zat in april nog op 50 miljoen betalende abonnees.

In het officiële rapport voor het kwartaal dat op 27 juni eindigde, staat een cijfer van 57,5 miljoen betalende abonnees, maar Disney-ceo Bob Chapek noemde het meeste recente cijfer van 60,5 miljoen betalende abonnees tijdens een mondelinge toelichting op de kwartaalcijfers.

In april zat dat aantal nog op 50 miljoen abonnees en in februari op 28 miljoen. Volgens Chapek is de groei veel hoger dan waar zijn bedrijf rekening mee had gehouden. De coronacrisis zal daar een rol bij hebben gespeeld, maar ook de steeds verdere uitbreiding van de streamingdienst naar steeds meer landen.

Op 15 september komt de dienst beschikbaar in acht nieuwe Europese landen: België, Portugal, Noorwegen, Denemarken, Zweden, Finland, IJsland en Luxemburg. Disney+ begon vorig jaar in september met een proefperiode van twee maanden in Nederland en is sinds 12 november officieel beschikbaar. De dienst kwam toen ook uit in de VS.

Uit de kwartaalcijfers blijkt dat Disney in totaal meer dan 100 miljoen abonnees heeft als sportzender ESPN en de Amerikaanse streamingdienst Hulu worden meegenomen. Disney+ is in de kwartaalcijfers goed voor 57,5 miljoen abonnees en Hulu en ESPN zijn goed voor respectievelijk 35,5 en 8,5 miljoen abonnees.

De omzet van Disney kwam in het afgelopen kwartaal uit op 11,8 miljard dollar, wat 42 procent lager is in vergelijking met hetzelfde kwartaal uit 2019. Dit is deels toe te schrijven aan de coronapandemie, waardoor bijvoorbeeld verschillende pretparken van het bedrijf gedurende het gehele kwartaal gesloten waren. Het bedrijf maakte een verlies van 4,7 miljard dollar, terwijl een jaar geleden nog een winst van 1,4 miljard dollar werd genoteerd.
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Disney gooit bommetje in bioscoopwereld

De filmreus lanceert een van zijn langverwachte films rechtstreeks op zijn streamingplatform. Een eenmalige beslissing ingegeven door Covid-19 zoals Disney verzekert of staat de exclusiviteit van de bioscoop op het spel?

Disney's jongste kwartaalrapport ademt een en al coronatristesse. De lockdown hakt er diep in bij de Amerikaanse entertainmentreus .

Netto is er een verlies van 4,7 miljard dollar. De sluiting van de pretparken en de resorts alleen is al goed voor een bedrijfsverlies van 2 miljard dollar.

De omzet duikt 42 procent lager tot 11,8 miljard dollar. Door de sluiting van de bioscopen zagen de filmstudio's hun inkomsten ruim halveren. Bij de pretparken, cruises en merchandising is de meltdown nog groter: -85 procent. Vorig jaar was die divisie nog goed voor bijna een derde van de omzet.

Een lichtpunt in het rapport is het streamingplatform Disney+ waar topman Bob Chapek maar al te graag de spotlight op zet.

De lockdown heeft ook een positieve keerzijde. Veel thuiszitters namen een abonnement op de uitdager van Netflix . In amper iets meer dan acht maanden staat de teller op meer dan 60 miljoen abonnees, een mijlpaal waar pionier Netflix liefst acht jaar voor nodig had. In ons land lanceert Disney+ midden september, tegen 6,99 euro per maand.


Eenmalig of voorbode?
Naast de films en series van onder meer Star Wars, Marvel en Pixar mogen we ons volgende maand ook opmaken voor 'Mulan'. De live-action remake van de animatiefilm uit 1998 verdwijnt definitief van de cinemakalender, nadat Disney de release door de coronacrisis al twee keer had uitgesteld. De filmreus kiest ervoor de prent via zijn streamingplatform te lanceren.



Mulan: in september op Disney+, niet in de bioscoop

Het is de jongste dominosteen die valt in wat lijkt op een remake van de filmbusiness. In maart besliste NBCUniversal al 'The Hunt', 'The Invisible Man' en 'Emma' tegelijk te lanceren op het grote witte doek en in de huiskamer (streaming). Beleeft de 'theatrical window' - de drie maanden exclusiviteit voor de cinema voor de film aan andere kanalen wordt verkocht - zijn laatste sequel?

Een inkorting of verdwijnen van dat window zou bijzonder slecht nieuws zijn voor bioscoopuitbaters als Kinepolis . Maar topman Eddy Duquenne denkt niet dat de soep zo heet wordt gegeten als ze wordt opgediend. 'De streamingplatformen voeren een prijzenoorlog. Het aanbod van Disney (7 dollar) kost de helft van een Netflix-abonnement. Terwijl een avondje cinema met twee 20 dollar oplevert. De waarde van het window blijft heel groot. De studio's stellen niet voor niets hun releases uit.' Let wel: die quote dateert van mei, dus voor Disneys beslissing.

Die waarde verklaart waarom Disney 'Mulan' niet zomaar cadeau doet aan zijn streamingabonnees. 30 dollar kost de stream in de Verenigde Staten - boven op de abonnementskosten dus. Kwestie van de gemiste bioscoopinkomsten te compenseren en het filmbudget van 200 miljoen dollar terug te verdienen.

Gooit de Amerikaanse filmreus met Mulan de knuppel in het hoenderhok - in dit geval de projectiekamer van de bioscoop? CEO Chapek trachtte tijdens de analistencall over de resultaten de bom te ontmijnen. Een 'eenmalige' move wegens de pandemie in plaats van een grootse verschuiving in de filmstrategie, zei hij. Afwachten of het daar bij blijft.
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Re: Walt Disney

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Mooie reactie vandaag.
Er wordt dus focus gelegd op de abonnees en niet op de verliezen door Corona.
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_Jack_ schreef:
05 aug 2020 16:17
Mooie reactie vandaag.
Er wordt dus focus gelegd op de abonnees en niet op de verliezen door Corona.
Ik had een +5'je verwacht maar het is tot nog toe het dubbele. Zoals u aanhaalt ligt de focus bij Disney+ en zijn de Corona verliezen blijkbaar bijkomstig. Gezien de huidige onzekere Corona-situatie ga ik de koers deze week nog even van kortbij volgen en een gedeeltelijke uitstap maken.

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Activistische belegger wil dat Disney het dividend gaat schrappen en vol gaat inzetten op Disney+.
Activist investor Dan Loeb calls on Disney to end its $3 billion annual dividend and use the funds for Disney+ content
PUBLISHED WED, OCT 7 2020 1:55 PM EDT

- Activist investor Dan Loeb has written a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek to end his company's annual $3 billion dividend.
- Loeb's argument is centered on investment in streaming driving more value for Disney shareholders than a dividend.
- Activists frequently argue companies should give more money away to shareholders rather than less, making Loeb's letter unusual.
Bron: https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/10/07/dan ... ssion=true
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