The Walt Disney Co. is a global entertainment company that operates a broad range of businesses, including theme parks, resorts, a cruise line, broadcast TV networks, and related products. Disney also produces live entertainment events, and produces and streams a wide range of film and TV entertainment content through its relatively new digital streaming services. The Walt Disney Co. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol, DIS.
Founded in 1923 as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio by brothers Walt and Roy Disney, the company now boasts a market capitalization of $256 billion (as of Nov. 17 2020) and generated annual net income of $11.6 billion on annual revenue of $69.6 billion during its 2019 fiscal year (FY), which ended September 28, 2020.
Under the leadership of Bob Chapek, who took over from Robert Iger as the company’s CEO in February 2020, the company operates through the following business segments: Media Networks; Parks, Experiences and Products; Studio Entertainment; and Direct-to-Consumer and International.
The Walt Disney World theme park in Florida reopened in July after closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, COVID-19 cases have since escalated in Florida, with officials having reported the highest level of new infections of any U.S. state.
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- Disney announced on Nov. 12, 2020 that it is continuing the suspension of its semi-annual cash dividend. Investors did not receive a dividend in July 2020 and will also not get a cash payout in January 2021. The company’s board of directors attributed its decision to “the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the Company’s decision to prioritize investment in its direct-to-consumer initiatives.”
- On Nov. 12, 2020, Disney reported an adjusted loss per share for Q4 of its 2020 fiscal year that was narrower than analysts expected. While falling revenue continued to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it also surpassed analyst estimates. Revenue for the most-affected aspect of Disney’s business—Parks, Experiences and Products—also sank YOY, but came in above expectations. The total number of subscribers on the Disney+ video-streaming platform continued to rise and surpassed analyst forecasts.