Media struggles attract activists

Article Excerpt

Media companies have struggled recently as advertisers shift their spending to online platforms. Rising inflation and interest rates are also hurting the subscription revenues of streaming services. As a result, activist investors are now demanding changes, including at these two media giants. WALT DISNEY CO. $104 is a buy. The company (New York symbol DIS; Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 1.8 billion; Market cap: $187.2 billion; Dividend suspended in May 2020; Takeover Target Rating: Medium; www.thewaltdisneycompany.com) is an entertainment and media conglomerate headquartered in Burbank, California. It’s also the world’s largest theme-park operator. Through the stock, investors tap Disney’s extensive portfolio of entertainment properties and brands. It monetizes them through film and TV productions, distribution, merchandising, theme-park attractions, as well as cable and streaming subscriptions. Dan Loeb, through his Third Point investment fund, recently acquired $1 billion worth of Disney stock. He originally demanded the company sell or spin off its ESPN all-sports cable channel and use the proceeds to pay down its high debt load of $46.0…

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