Disney’s U.S. theme parks have been closed since mid-March. Florida is gradually reopening its economy, as the coronavirus hasn’t hit it as hard as the hot spots elsewhere in the country.
Most of Disney’s divisions have been hammered by the pandemic, which took a $1.4 billion bite out of its first-quarter earnings.
Second-quarter earnings are expected to be even worse, as many of Disney’s shutdowns came late in the first quarter, and the pandemic was just ramping up in January and February.
Disney’s plight pushed respected MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, a long-time Disney bull , to cut his rating on the stock last week to neutral from buy.
“For more than a decade, we have been stalwart believers in the factors that make Disney different than the rest of the media pack,” Nathanson wrote in a commentary.
“The company’s leadership, strategic positioning, asset mix and brand equity have consistently delivered for their investors. We are downgrading Disney not because we have lost faith in those attributes, but rather because we believe there are a number of risks that could lead this unprecedented event to have a longer impact.”
Disney shares recently traded at $108.80, up 1%. The stock has dropped 24% in the past three months, compared with a 13% slide for the S&P 500.