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Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report) are enjoying a good year. The $100 billion company already hit all-time highs of its own back in the summer, and it's up almost 40% in the last 12 months. Everyone knows Disney's brand, but just a day after my Baltimore Ravens took the Super Bowl championship in New Orleans, many investors may not realize just how big football is to Disney's business.
Football matters to Disney because of ESPN, the crown jewel in the firm's TV network portfolio. ESPN pays the NFL approximately $1.8 billion each year for the rights to broadcast Monday Night Football games during the regular season; not surprisingly, that costs the network more than ad sales contribute during the games. But the real value in the deal is broadcast rights for other games, giving ESPN the ability to sell countless ads in today's inevitable Super Bowl post-game coverage. Disney's other networks include ABC, as well as stakes in the History Channel and Lifetime.
The firm's portfolio of intellectual property is unmatched, with beloved characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Winnie the Pooh generating considerable cash from film, TV, merchandise and theme parks. The purchase of Pixar should keep Disney's portfolio growing in value as new favorite films come out of the independently run animation studio.
Disney has a solid balance sheet, it pays a modest dividend, and its technical trajectory is stellar. With rising analyst sentiment in this Rocket Stock, we're betting on shares.