Associated Press Walt Disney Co. outperformed media peers in 3Q
LOS ANGELES -
The Walt Disney Co.'s share price outperformed its media peers in the third quarter, falling just 1.6 percent over the period as investors valued consumer loyalty to its brands amid a weak economy. Shares in the owner of ESPN, movie studios, ABC and theme parks fell from $31.20 to $30.69 between June 30 and Tuesday, the end of the fiscal quarter. But some analysts see Disney (nyse: DIS - news - people ) shares slipping if the economy slows further.
"Disney now trades at a substantial premium to its peers ... a premium which may not be fully justifiable," said Anthony DiClemente, an analyst with Barclays (nyse: BCS - news - people ) Capital in a research note Monday.
Weak visitation to its U.S. theme parks and lackluster advertising sales are expected to hurt the company. Disney's movie studios also could be harmed by the transition to digital distribution as DVD sales decline, he said. In the same period, Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news - people ) Inc. shares fell 11.4 percent to $13.11, Viacom Inc. (nyse: VIA - news - people ) shares dropped 18.8 percent to $24.86, and News Corp. (nyse: NWS - news - people ) shares fell 20.8 percent to $12.15. The worst-performing stock among major companies in the sector was CBS Corp. (nyse: CBS - news - people ), which dropped 25.2 percent to $14.58, largely because its radio and TV stations and outdoor billboards are considered particularly susceptible to a weak economy.
DiClemente said that among its peers, CBS is "the most vulnerable to the softer advertising trends anticipated to continue into 2009."
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed