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Disney stock records best quarter in 4 years; What is behind the House of Mouse surge?

Disney stock records best quarter in 4 years; What is behind the House of Mouse surge?

Through much of 2023, one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world – Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) – was embroiled in a battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and struggled amidst the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes.

The disputes saw multiple strange legal maneuvers, boycotts of the House of Mouse, and generally took a toll on the belligerents with the most evident effects being Disney’s abysmal stock market performance during the year.

Indeed, DIS shares plunged for a time below their COVID-19-era lows near $80 casting doubt on the company’s future prospects. Despite the turmoil, however, 2024 brought a major change to the trend.

Ultimately, the first quarter of the year which featured its last full trading day on Thursday, March 28, saw the House of Mouse record its strongest performance out of any trimester in almost 4 years.

Why is DIS stock surging?

Along with the quieting down of public disputes, much of Disney’s rapid recovery can it be attributed to the company’s continuously strong financial; results. 

Disney’s latest two quarterly reports provided generally better-than-expected results with earnings-per-share (EPS) numbers being particularly impressive – $0.82 vs $0.70 per the November figures, and $1.22 vs $0.99 in the February document.

Revenue in both cases, however, proved relatively stagnant and fell slightly short of forecasts.

Analyst forecasts for Disney stock

At the tail end of Q1, 2024, analysts are also bullish on Disney stock, though not overly so. In fact, out of the 30 experts represented on TradingView, 2 maintain that DIS is a strong sell, five are neutral, 6 rate the entertainment giant as “buy” and 17 as a “strong buy.”

The average price target for Disney shares is slightly – 0.77% – below their press time price of $122.36 at $121.42.

The lowest target, however, would see DIS fall a full 46.06% to $66 and the highest target – assigned by Needham – forecasts an additional 18.50% climb to $145.

DIS analyst forecasts and ratings. Source: TradingView

Disney stock price chart

Disney’s 2024 performance has been one of continuous steady growth. Since January 1, DIS shares climbed 34.89% to reach $122.36.

DIS stock YTD price chart. Source: Finbold

The company’s performance has become particularly positive following the February report and the uptrend has persisted into March with DIS finding itself 9.66% up in the last 30 days and 4.68% in the green on the weekly chart. Finally, the latest full trading day – March 28 – featured a 1.14% rise.

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