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UPDATE: Morgan Stanley Reiterates on The Walt Disney Company as Margins Drive Upside

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In a report published Thursday, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne reiterated an Equal-Weight rating on The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), but removed the $77.00 price target.

In the report, Morgan Stanley noted, “Overall DIS reported strong F1Q results, with OI nearly $300M above our forecast. The film studio and cable equity affiliates (AETN, 50% owned) drove a little over half of the outperformance versus our estimates. The remainder primarily came from the core cable networks (ESPN, Disney Channel, etc), where a YoY opex decline was likely timing related. Both the Domestic Parks and Interactive segments grew OI strongly YoY, though both posted margins modestly below our forecast. Pacings were mixed, with ESPN ad sales pacing up slightly despite Olympics headwinds, below +5% MSe. Parks reservations are pacing up a strong 7% (ahead of MSe +3% attendance) and booked rates are pacing +2% (a bit below our +3% revpar est.).”

The Walt Disney Company closed on Wednesday at $71.76.

Latest Ratings for DIS

DateFirmActionFromTo
Oct 2014Guggenheim SecuritiesDowngradesBuyNeutral
Sep 2014Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-weight
Aug 2014JP MorganMaintainsOverweight

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