Shares of Disney (DIS - Free Report) suddenly dropped more than 3% in midday trading Thursday after CEO Bob Iger warned that the media conglomerate was on pace to post full-year earnings that could disappoint investors.
Speaking at the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch 2017 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference today, Iger said that Disney’s earnings per share this year will be “roughly in line” with what the company generated in fiscal 2016.
As of right now, the Zacks Consensus Estimate is calling for Disney to post full-year earnings of $5.87 per share. In fiscal 2016, the company generated earnings of $5.72 per share, so investors are considering Iger’s comments to be a warning that Disney will disappoint this quarter, which is the last of its current fiscal year.
What’s more, our current consensus estimates have already been beaten down. In the wake of the Disney’s third-quarter earnings report, we have seen seven negative revisions to the company’s full-year estimates, moving the Zacks Consensus Estimate about three cents lower over the last 60 days.
At the same event, Iger revealed that Marvel and Star Wars titles will go exclusively to Disney’s new streaming platform, which is set to launch in late 2019.
“I have described a very rich, treasure trove of content for this app,” Iger said. “We're going to launch big, and we're going to launch hot.”
In addition to legacy Disney and Marvel titles, Iger said the new platform will also include four to five new original series, as well as four to five new original feature films. Iger did not reveal how much the service will cost, although he did say that it’s possible the international version will launch first due to existing streaming rights.
Investors will remember that Disney first announced the new direct-to-consumer offering alongside its latest earnings report. The announcement also included details about the company’s plans to pull its content from Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) , as well as the new ESPN-branded streaming platform that is set to launch in 2018.
To power these new platforms, Disney acquired BAMTech, a video streaming company originally created by Major League Baseball. Last year, the media giant shelled out $1 billion for a 33% stake in BAMTech, and the company recently exercised its option to take majority control of the streaming brand (also read: Disney's Purchase of BAMTech Could Change TV Forever).
Since its report, Disney’s new over-the-top platforms have been regarded as significant catalysts for its future growth. The conglomerate has been hampered by the cord-cutting revolution, and although many considered these platforms to be relatively late arrivals, it’s positive news that Disney is finally entering the streaming competition itself.
Nevertheless, today’s slump looks to be a reaction to Iger’s short-term caution. The Disney streaming platform is still a long way out, and for now, investors seem concerned about the company’s upcoming earnings report.
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