Disney Investors Brace for Tough ESPN Earnings News

walt-disney-dis-logoWhile plenty of the big-name brands are riding to all-time highs in recent weeks, Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has failed to participate in the run. Currently, analysts are forecasting the company to earn $1.61 per share on $14.15 billion in revenues.

2016 has not been exactly horrible for the stock, but the S=shares are down 9% year-to-date and down 13% over the past 12 months. While most analysts expects theme park business to continue to provide consistent growth, ESPN is coming under increased scrutiny with sports programming being streamed over the internet at a lower cost for consumers, the network is losing subscribers. ESPN is walking a tightrope in trying to figure out how to move into streaming itself without jeopardizing its very profitable relationship with the cable providers, who see streaming as a direct threat.

Part of the company’s strategy to offset the rising expenses in owning rights to cover sports, is to make tough cuts that have fans of personalities such as Bill Simmons following them to their new homes.

From the stock’s technical perspective, the shares are currently trading under its 50-day moving average of $97.60 and its 200-day average of $101.15. Investors which are betting on the long-term will look to grab on to anything that can help offset any slower-than-expected earnings growth, and that would include any news on the company’s dividend payout and share buyback strategy.

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