NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report are up 0.53% to $93.60 in pre-market trade after the entertainment company's board of directors declared an annual cash dividend of $1.15 per share, up 34%, or 29 cents per share, from the previous year. The announcement was made after yesterday's market close.
The dividend is payable on January 8, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 15, 2014. This is Disney's 59th consecutive dividend payment to shareholders.
"Disney delivered the highest results in its history in fiscal 2014, reflecting the extraordinary quality of our creative content and the unparalleled strength of our brands," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO. "We achieved record revenue, net income and earnings per share for the fourth year in a row, and we are delighted to be able to increase our shareholder dividend by 34% while continuing to invest for future growth."
The company also announced that it has scheduled its annual shareholders' meeting for Thursday, March 12, 2015, in San Francisco.
TheStreet Ratings team rates DISNEY (WALT) CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate DISNEY (WALT) CO (DIS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 29.13% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, DIS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- DISNEY (WALT) CO has improved earnings per share by 11.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, DISNEY (WALT) CO increased its bottom line by earning $4.25 versus $3.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.66 versus $4.25).
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, DISNEY (WALT) CO's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: DIS Ratings Report