Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Disney’s profits have been under pressure owing to higher programming costs at ESPN due to increase in contractual rate for a few sports programs. Additionally, heavy investments in streaming services to survive amid competition from Netflix and Amazon are dragging down margins. Moreover, softness experienced in tourism and consumer confidence in China hurt attendance levels at the Shanghai Disney Resort. Nevertheless, Disney is expected to benefit from its strong 2019 film slate. Moreover, with the completion of Fox’s acquisition, Disney can strengthen its TV slate and expand its international presence and DTC offerings. Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+ will be supported by content strength from both Disney and Fox. Notably, its shares have outperformed the industry over the past year.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Rosenblatt Securities reissued a buy rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Walt Disney in a report on Monday. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on Walt Disney in a report on Thursday, April 4th. They set a buy rating and a $142.00 price objective on the stock. Citigroup began coverage on Walt Disney in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. They set a buy rating and a $150.00 price objective on the stock. Edward Jones upgraded Walt Disney from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. Finally, Tigress Financial restated a buy rating on shares of Walt Disney in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $127.44.

Shares of NYSE DIS opened at $117.16 on Monday. Walt Disney has a twelve month low of $97.68 and a twelve month high of $120.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 1.00 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $174.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.23 and a beta of 0.91.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The entertainment giant reported $1.84 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.27. Walt Disney had a net margin of 18.46% and a return on equity of 20.50%. The company had revenue of $15.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.20 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.89 EPS. Walt Disney’s revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Walt Disney will post 6.88 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Brent Woodford sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.60, for a total value of $227,200.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 26,517 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,012,331.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders sold a total of 4,042 shares of company stock worth $460,637 in the last quarter. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Webster Bank N. A. increased its holdings in shares of Walt Disney by 1.6% in the 1st quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 34,370 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock valued at $3,816,000 after purchasing an additional 547 shares during the period. Trust Co. of Oklahoma increased its holdings in Walt Disney by 0.7% in the first quarter. Trust Co. of Oklahoma now owns 27,429 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $3,045,000 after buying an additional 184 shares during the last quarter. Grassi Investment Management increased its holdings in Walt Disney by 1.0% in the first quarter. Grassi Investment Management now owns 74,647 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $8,288,000 after buying an additional 745 shares during the last quarter. Menlo Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Walt Disney by 50.0% in the first quarter. Menlo Advisors LLC now owns 49,915 shares of the entertainment giant’s stock worth $5,542,000 after buying an additional 16,645 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Walt Disney in the first quarter worth approximately $22,351,000. Institutional investors own 64.61% of the company’s stock.

About Walt Disney

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an entertainment company worldwide. The company's Media Networks segment operates cable programming businesses under the ESPN, Disney, and Freeform brands; broadcast businesses, including ABC TV Network and eight owned television stations; and radio businesses.

See Also: Is the QQQ ETF safe?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Walt Disney (DIS)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

Receive News & Ratings for Walt Disney Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Walt Disney and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.