Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) is on the mend in 2023. The shares are up 18% this year, doubling the market's 9% year-to-date gain. The stock has moved higher in three of this year's first four months.
Momentum is on its side. Can it keep the gains coming in May? There's a big financial update and some highly anticipated theatrical releases hitting the market this month. Let's check out some of the dates that could move Disney stock in the month ahead.
Disney has been uncharacteristically quiet on the multiplex front in this calendar year. It has put out just one movie that currently stands among the country's 25 highest-grossing movies released in 2023. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania fared well for Disney, but it won't be alone for long.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens this weekend. Director James Gunn is back for the third film of the popular Marvel franchise, armed with the obvious returning cast members.
The first film was a sleeper hit in 2014. It generated $333.7 million in domestic ticket sales, $773.4 million worldwide. No longer an obscure Marvel, the sequel served up $389.8 million in stateside box office receipts. After a holiday Disney+ special in 2022 and thrill rides at both of Disney's U.S. parks, the third installment shouldn't have a problem topping its predecessors in terms of ticket sales.
We're thigh-deep into earnings season, and Disney will get its chance to talk about its latest quarterly numbers next week. The House of Mouse reports its fiscal second-quarter results after the market close on Wednesday of next week.
Analysts are modeling a 14% decline in earnings per share on an 8% increase in revenue. It will be CEO Bob Iger's first full quarter since returning to the helm late last year. He hasn't wasted any time in trying to turn the entertainment giant around. He's cutting costs and returning content power to its creators.
Expectations may be mixed, but that's not a surprise. Disney is dealing with rising costs, a meandering advertising market, and concerns about the economy. Disney's entertainment may be timeless, but sometimes folks are willing to spend more on the escapism that Disney provides through its media networks, films, streaming services, theme parks, cruise ships, and consumer products.
Disney is a bellwether among media stocks. An encouraging update out of Iger and his executives will keep Disney ahead of the market this year.
It's been 34 years since The Little Mermaid came out, ushering in the renaissance of Disney's animation division. With Disney fishing for gold by reframing many of its most iconic films with live acting, it was only a matter of time before Princess Ariel, Prince Eric, and the rest of the animated stars of the 1989 film would be recut in live action.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out three weeks earlier, Disney has two major bookends with substantial built-in consumer demand hitting theater chains. The first four months of the year were quiet, but now Disney is bringing the "action" to the lights and the camera.
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Rick Munarriz has positions in Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2024 $145 calls on Walt Disney and short January 2024 $155 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.