BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, a longtime bear on Walt Disney Co.’s stockDIS, +0.32% upgraded the shares to neutral from sell on Monday, writing that the company appears to be more realistic about the prospects for its various businesses as it prepares to launch its Disney+ streaming service. “While Disney is admittedly not going as far as we would like in their direct-to-consumer strategy (collapsing windows and proactively cannibalizing legacy businesses), Iger and Disney are clearly listening to much of what we have written over the past few years and appear to realize an even more dramatic shift in Disney’s strategy will be required as its legacy businesses erode,” he wrote. Greenfield argued that consensus earnings expectations look too high for 2021 to 2022 but said that he and his team “doubt anyone is going to care for the next year, making it hard to find a near-term short catalyst to support a sell rating.” Greenfield had rated Disney at sell since December 2015. The stock is down 0.1% in premarket trading, and it’s gained 16% over the past three months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.31% has risen 9.8% in that time.
Walt Disney Co. shares were trading at $130.75 per share on Monday morning, up $0.69 (+0.53%). Year-to-date, DIS has gained 19.24%, versus a 16.31% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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