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DISNEY SHARES SLIDE 14%; BEARISH FORECAST PROMPTS SELL-OFF.



Byline: Dave McNary Staff Writer

Wall Street pounded Mickey Mouse Mickey Mouse

Famous character of Walt Disney's animated cartoons. He was introduced in Steamboat Willie (1928), the first animated cartoon with sound. Mickey was created by Disney, who also provided his high-pitched voice, and was usually drawn by the studio's head animator,
 on Friday, taking out pent-up frustration with the inability of The Walt Disney Noun 1. Walt Disney - United States film maker who pioneered animated cartoons and created such characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; founded Disneyland (1901-1966)
Disney, Walter Elias Disney
 Co. to turn around its massive entertainment business.

Shares slid 14 percent by falling $3.875 to $24.25 after Disney warned that it does not expect profits to rise until 2001. Trading was heavy with more than 25.6 million shares changing hands, more than four times the three-month average.

Disney's forecast, issued after the market closed Thursday, included an expected 37 percent decline in quarterly earnings. But investors sold off the stock in response to a bearish Bearish

Words used to describe investor attitude. A bearish investor believes that a particular asset or the market as a whole will decline in value.


bearish 
 forecast by Chairman Michael Eisner Michael Dammann Eisner (born March 7, 1942) was CEO of The Walt Disney Company from September 22, 1984 to September 30, 2005. Early life
Michael Eisner was born to a wealthy family in Mt. Kisco, New York, and raised on Park Avenue in Manhattan.
 that profits won't rebound rebound (rē´bownd),
n/v 1. a recovery from illness.
n 2. an outbreak of fresh reflex activity after withdrawal of a stimulus

rebound adjective
 in the year 2000, as many hoped.

``People were very disappointed that Eisner gave such a sour outlook,'' said analyst Barry Hyman of Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum. ``People had gotten excited that the turnaround was coming, but it's clear that the gains are going to come later rather than sooner.''

The stock began rising two weeks ago from the $24 range in anticipation that Disney's cost-cutting programs would start to push profits upward. But Eisner indicated Thursday that ongoing softness in video and consumer products will hold down profits to roughly the same as 1999. Earnings for the year ended Sept. 30 fell 30 percent to $1.3 billion, or 62 cents a share.

Friday's decline leaves Burbank-based Disney down 42 percent from its all-time high of over $42, reached only 18 months ago. Still, no downgrades were issued Friday, indicating many trackers believe Disney eventually will rebound.

``Disney's valuation, which is typically never inexpensive, even today still reflects some built-in expectation that the company will successfully turn its business around,'' said Salomon Smith Barney Smith Barney is a division of Citigroup Global Capital Markets Inc., a global, full-service financial firm, that provides brokerage, investment banking and asset management services to corporations, governments and individuals around the world.  analyst Jill Krutick, who maintained her ``outperform'' rating with a $37 price target. ``Nevertheless, the valuation is attractive for long-term-oriented investors with the stock's 31 percent pullback Pullback

A falling back of a price from its peak. This type of price movement might be seen as a brief reversal of the prevailing upward trend, signaling a slight pause in upward momentum.
 from its 52-week high representing an opportunity for investors to take part in a blue-chip name.''
COPYRIGHT 1999 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 6, 1999
Words:328
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