Shares of the Walt Disney Co. have been downgraded by analysts who believe the studio’s streaming growth has stalled, potentially leading to tough times ahead as Disney continues to pour billions of dollars into the digital money pit.
Analysts at KeyBanc lowered their rating on Disney to “Sector Weight” from “Overweight” and gave the stock a price target of $85. Shares of Disney closed Thursday around $89.
Keybanc said it also believes Disney’s theme park attendance has been weak.
“Disneyland growth due to its 100th anniversary celebration is more than offset by [Disney World’s] contraction from comparisons against its 50th anniversary celebration. We worry the ‘tough comps’ are not properly reflected in consensus,” the report said.
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Analysts even referenced Disney’s disastrous, Star Wars-themed Galactic Starcruiser hotel, which is shutting down after only one year of operation. The attraction came with a steep price tag, starting at $4,800 for two guests and $6,000 for a family of four.
KeyBanc said it expects further losses from Disney+ and Hulu as growth slows down amid growing competition.
Disney+ subscriptions experienced a steep drop off during the first three months of 2023, with the woke streaming service losing a whopping 4 million customers globally.
While most of the Disney+ losses resulted from the end of its Hotstar deal in India, the streamer posted an unexpected loss of 300,000 subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as more consumers wake up to Disney’s relentless push of transgender and drag queen content in its entertainment for children.
Overall, Disney’s streaming business continues to bleed money with no sign of profitability in sight. As recently as the most recent first quarter, Disney’s streaming was losing more than $1 billion every three months.
While CEO Bob Iger is reininng in the company’s runaway spending, Disney’s streaming business most recently lost $659 million in the recent fiscal second quarter