Shares of Walt Disney Co. (DIS) are moving higher in Tuesday's morning trading session, climbing almost 1% to $102.42. The reason? While stock futures fall, Disney shares finds itself moving higher, thanks to an upgrade from Wells Fargo.
It's been a tough year for Disney, with shares failing to gain traction. Disney shares are down 2.6% in 2017 and are up just 52 basis points over the past two years. Thankfully, Disney typically has a very patient shareholder base. But it wouldn't be surprising if they began to get a little restless after such a lack of outperformance.
However, one could argue that despite Disney's flat performance, its stock is actually doing OK considering the rapidly changing landscape in the streaming and content markets. Specifically, over-the-top products continue to pressure traditional cable and satellite revenues. Disney serves as both a broadcaster and a content producer, putting it in unique company. However, it's felt intense pressure on its ESPN business, and recent changes in the industry have forced it to sever its content ties with Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) .
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Regarding Wells Fargo, analyst Marci Ryvicker upgraded the stock to outperform, assigning a $116 price target. The price target was increased from $109 and now implies almost 14% upside from Disney's current price. She argues that concerns are "widely overdone" regarding dilution from streaming apps, as well as with Disney's recent deal to acquire the rest of BAMTech that it didn't already own.
Eventually, the TV industry will go through an "accelerated push" into over-the-top products, Ryvicker reasoned. Because of this, investors should consider companies with attractive content, like CBS Corporation (CBS) , Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOX) and Disney. Conversely, they should reduce exposure to companies like Scripps Networks (SNI) , Discovery Communications (DISCA) and Viacom, Inc. (VIAB) .
Along with upgrading Disney, Ryvicker downgraded VIAB stock to market perform and assigned a $32 price target.
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