Investors who bought stocks during the Covid-19 market crash in 2020 have generally experienced some big gains in the past two years. But there is no question some big-name stocks performed better than others since the pandemic bottom.
Comcast's Bumpy Ride: One company that has been a lackluster investment in the past two years has been media and entertainment giant Comcast Corporation CMCSA.
Comcast’s theme parks and TV and movie studio businesses almost experienced a worst-case scenario in early 2020. Vacation travel demand fell to nearly 0% due to Covid-19, and Comcast was forced to close its parks and shut down its Universal Pictures studios.
Fortunately for Comcast investors, the pandemic overlapped well with the launch of the Peacock streaming platform in July 2020. Customers stuck at home subscribed to Peacock in droves in the second half of 2020. The service reached 54 million subscribers by the second quarter of 2021.
At the beginning of 2020, Comcast shares were trading at around $45. By the beginning of March, the stock had dropped to around $40 after news of the virus spreading in China prompted concerns about a U.S. pandemic. On March 14, Comcast closed its Universal Studios theme parks. The stock ultimately bottomed at $31.71 just nine days later.
By the time the Universal Orlando Resort reopened at limited capacity in June, Comcast shares were back up to around $42.
On Jan 25, 2021, Comcast announced the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. WWE Network would begin streaming exclusively on Peacock. Several months later, Comcast shares hit their post-pandemic high of $61.80 in September 2021.
Comcast In 2022, Beyond: Since reaching its pinnacle in late 2021, Comcast shares have traded all the way back down to $30.91 over concerns about slowing subscriber growth and heavy losses for Peacock.
At this point, investors who bought Comcast on the day it hit its pandemic low and held on have generated a negative overall return on their investment. In fact, $1,000 in Comcast stock bought on March 23, 2020, would be worth about $961 today, assuming reinvested dividends.
Looking ahead, analysts are expecting Comcast stock to rebound in the next 12 months. The average price target among the 31 analysts covering the stock is $45, suggesting 45.8% upside from current levels.
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