‘Bringing Back the Magic’: 4 Disney Analysts React to the Mouse’s Q1 Beat

By Benzinga
February 11, 2022 Updated: February 11, 2022

Walt Disney Co. shares were rallying Thursday after the company reported a big first-quarter earnings beat.

Disney reported fiscal first-quarter adjusted EPS of $1.06 on $21.82 billion in revenue. Both numbers exceeded consensus analyst estimates of 63 cents and $20.91 billion, respectively. Revenue was up 34 percent from a year ago.

Disney reported 129.8 million Disney+ subscribers, beating analyst estimates of 125.7 million. Disney added nearly 12 million Disney+ subscribers in the quarter. Disney+ average revenue per user in the U.S. and Canada was $6.68, up from $5.80 a year ago.

Disney reiterated its previous guidance for between 230 million and 260 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024.

Theme Park Recovery

Bank of America analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich said Disney is “bringing back the magic” in 2022.

“A big premise of our bull thesis was predicated on the recovery in Theme Parks and inherent operating leverage in the model and FY1Q results is a key validator of that view,” Ehrlich wrote.

Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne said Disney’s U.S. Parks revenues and margins were near record levels.

“F1Q results were broadly ahead of our above consensus expectations, with Parks revenue and OI the clear standout while Disney Plus net adds also outperformed,” Swinburne wrote.

Streaming Growth Outlook Intact

Needham analyst Laura Martin said Disney’s planned $33 billion in content spending in 2022 was one of the most interesting statistics from the earnings call.

“Parks results were outstanding in 1Q22, with revs doubling y/y and op inc margins of 34 percent, the highest we can remember (and DIS believes there is more upside from here),” Martin wrote.

KeyBanc analyst Brandon Nispel said Disney’s long-term growth outlook for its direct-to-consumer offerings and its highly efficient Parks business make the stock an attractive value.

“We see a compelling risk/reward based on DIS EV/EBITDA/growth, which makes DIS one of the most attractive companies in our coverage,” Nispel wrote.

Ratings And Price Targets

Bank of America has a Buy rating and $191 target.
Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating and $170 target.
Needham has a Hold rating.
KeyBanc has an Overweight rating and $216 target.

By Wayne Duggan

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