Disney World, Unions Reach Covid-19 Safety Pact: Report

Move seen a key in efforts to reopen shuttered Florida theme parks.
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The Walt Disney Co.  (DIS) - Get Report and unions representing workers at its Walt Disney World theme parks have agreed on safety measures to guard against spreading the coronavirus, a move seen as key to re-opening the facilities, according to a published report.

Disney and the unions agreed on rules governing social distancing, more cleaning and mask requirements for workers and guests, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Service Trades Council Union.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of Disney theme parks around the world beginning earlier this year, crushing revenue at one of the entertainment giant’s key business operations.

Disney posted mixed results in its second-quarter earnings release earlier this month. The company’s management estimated that the total impact of Covid-19 on its parks, experiences and consumer products segment operating income was $1 billion in the latest quarter. 

For the quarter, overall revenues of $18.01 billion exceeded estimates of $17.8 billion, while adjusted earnings per share of $0.60 missed consensus estimates of $0.89 per share. 

The damage to its parks business has been offset, in part, by the rapid adoption of Disney+ video streaming services, which are in high demand with so many people stuck at home. The company said it had approximately 54.5 million subscribers as of the May 5 earnings release, up from 33.5 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Separately, Thursday, the New York Times reported that Disney’s Broadway musical "Frozen," won’t reopen once pandemic restrictions ease. The adaptation of Disney’s film hit was one of three Disney shows playing before the pandemic. The others were "The Lion King," and "Aladdin." 

Disney shares rose $2.99, or 2.9%, to close at $105.91 in regular trading Thursday. For the year, the stock is off about 27%.

Disney is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club.