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Thus far, 2012 has been a standout year for the
Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report). Since the first trading session of January, shares of the $89 billion media firm have rallied more than 32%.
Soros Fund management has been along for the ride. The firm initiated a position in Disney in the second quarter, buying just over a million shares for a $51.5 million stake in the firm.
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While Disney is best known for characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Winnie the Pooh, the firm's most lucrative characters just might be the ones donning NFL jerseys for the preseason right now. Disney's ESPN unit contributes more than three-quarters of Disney's cable sales, and much of its success comes from its lucrative Monday Night Football deal with the NFL. Disney's ability to earn truly meaningful revenues in noncore businesses is telling.
Disney's core businesses, meanwhile, are looking pretty good as well. Movies remain a higher risk venture, but they have the bonus effect of creating intellectual properties that the firm can use to develop rides at parks, broadcast on its cable channels, and turn into merchandise.
While Disney may be a quintessential blue chip name, investors shouldn't think that the business is boring. It should continue to do well in 2012, particularly given its relative strength over the last eight months.