Fears over ESPN subscribers have been a real overhang on shares of Disney (DIS) . The stock is down 10% this year and roughly 20% over the past 12 months. But investors are hoping that trend changes on Thursday when the company reports its fourth-quarter results Thursday after the close.
"Disney is hostage to ESPN," TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.
There will be a moment when ESPN shows another subscriber loss and shares of Disney don't sell off, Cramer said. He's waiting for that moment as a buying opportunity.
Until that happens, the stock isn't fit for short-term investors. Instead, only long-term investors should stick with Disney at this time, because although it has an ESPN problem, it still owns fantastic franchises.
There will be a time when the ESPN business is no longer a problem, but that time has not come, Cramer said, reiterating that Disney is only for long-term investors at present time.
Analysts expect the company to earn $1.16 per share on $13.52 billion in revenue.