NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walt Disney's (DIS) - Get Report ESPN is pushing back against Nielsen's report that says the sports network lost an estimated 621,000 subscribers in October, by releaseing a statement saying the numbers "represent a dramatic, unexplainable variation over prior months' reporting." Neilsen has since retracted its statement and said it was conducting an "internal review" to determine if the numbers were accurate.
Nielsen measures consumer trends in over 100 countries.
As a result, investors should "definitely ignore" the figure and focus on Disney's "longer term trend," FBR Capital Markets' Barton Crockett said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday afternoon. The firm itself is doing so with its model that says that "modest downward pressure in subscribers is offsetting some of the rate hikes."
"The real story for Disney is not what happened on the Nielsen numbers for October, but what's going to happen with viewership over a longer period of time and how is that going to be balanced against things they could do with theme parks and with their movies," Crockett noted.
In addition, investors should note that subscriber numbers refers to the number of people that have ESPN in their cable subscription, rather than how many people are watching the channel at any given time, he noted.
FBR has a "market perform" rating and $107 price target on Disney stock.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Disney as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by multiple strengths, which the team believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks the team covers.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: DIS