These Two Words Explain Why Disney Is a Stock You Hold Forever

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There are very few stocks worthy of holding a permanent place in your long-term diversified portfolio. The Walt Disney Company (DIS) might be one of them.

For more than 60 years, Disney has been delivering quality entertainment in many different forms. While all their divisions deliver robust growth, the film and TV segment deliver the best aspects of all that is Disney, and that's due to two simple worlds:

Great storytelling.

People can have different opinions about movies. However, sometimes a movie just knocks it out of the park, and earns near-universal acclaim. That's usually because it tells a great story, and does so in a unique way.

Disney films have traditionally been very good and the company has shown great foresight by purchasing three purveyors of great storytelling: Pixar Studios, Marvel Studios, and LucasFilm.

Each studio has cultivated a corporate culture with a mission and a vision. They all have had management that was able to execute on their respective visions.

There is a braintrust at Pixar that has permitted it to deliver an almost-perfect record. Although movie reviews site RottenTomatoes.com isn't a definitive measure of quality, it is a pretty good one. With the exception of Cars 2, every Pixar film has over a 75% rating, with many at otherwordly 99% and 100% ratings (the number is the percentage of professional reviews about a film that are positive). While it is also true that its latest films haven't soared, they still deliver on the whole, and will likely continue to do so.

Marvel Studios has followed a very specific plan that parallels the comic books. Each superhero was introduced in his own adventure, and then they began teaming up in films like The Avengers, based on the comics of the same name. Marvel has consistently demanded good storytelling go along with spectacle, and takes superhero content seriously, and doesn't camp it up.

Of course, I'm speaking of the most recent few years, after the studio reclaimed production of its own content.

Any studio that can take Guardians of the Galaxy and make a good film out of it, and from the look of Ant-Man, do the same, earns my respect. Now the studio has expanded into TV, and the results are also strong.

Now that George Lucas is done messing up Indiana Jones and Star Wars, we get a chance to see what J.J. Abrams can do with the latter. Lucas was destroying his own brand, and now there are experienced producers who have made great movies in charge.

Besides these acquisitions, Disney has its own strong storytelling brand. Storytelling is also evident in the theme parks. The rides tell stories, however loosely.

Beyond this, Disney has tremendous amounts of backstop. It owns ESPN, ABC and Disney TV cable channels. It owns radio stations. It owns a cruise line. It has theme parks.

And it has merchandising. All those movies are worth so much more than box-office. There's a reason every film has a cute cuddly talking beast. Not only does it usually serve the story, but it sells plush toys.

When you factor in Disney's extraordinary cash flow, all its cash on hand, its low-cost debt and superior management, you have a stock that has many generations of success ahead of it.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held DIS.

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