It feels like being the Walt Disney Company must have been rough in the last few months. The two biggest pillars that the company is based on are theme parks that have spent the last several months closed, and movies that have been unable to be released. You'd think Wall Street might be a little apprehensive when it comes to a company that is simply unable to produce the revenue it once could. The financial numbers that came out of this week's Q3 earnings call were brutal. And yet, based on the stock price, everything is coming up churros at the Walt Disney Company, as the stock even got a bump off the news that the movie studios' long-delayed Mulan won't be seeing a global theatrical release.
Disney stock saw a 10% boost in early trading on Wednesday morning according to Variety, the morning after it was announced that Mulan would be released as a premium title on Disney+, costing users $29.99 to see the highly anticipated film, starting September 4. The movie will see theatrical releases where possible, but in places where theaters are not yet open, and Disney+ is available, Mulan will be there.
While nobody is quite sure what this means to Disney's bottom line, the news, along with the fact that Disney+ is exceeding even Disney's internal projections, resulted in Disney stock finishing the day at $127.61 per share, up for than $10 per share from the day before. This morning, as of this writing, it's gone even higher.
While Disney's stock took a significant leap yesterday, it's been on the rise steadily since cratering (for Disney) at around $80 back at the end of March, when theme parks were closing and movies were being delayed. But even then the stock wasn't down for long. It was back up over $100 a share within a couple of days and, while it's still short of its 52-week high of $153.41, it's certainly much closer to that now, despite everything that's happened.
At the end of the day, while investors want to see financial success and growth, the thing that really throws off Wall Street is uncertainty, and it appears that Disney has made it through that period. There seems to be strong confidence in Disney right now. While things are far from optimal, there's a strong feeling that everything will continue to improve and that eventually, the company will be back on track.
Walt Disney World may be seeing limited capacity but the resort is showing success with the guests that it has. Disney has a plan for making Mulan successful, even if that plan doesn't really include theaters. And Disney+ is exceeding all expectations. It's entirely possible that the pandemic actually helped subscription numbers, as people needed more to do at home.
While the lack of income from theme parks and movies will still have consequences for Disney, for publicly traded companies, little is more important than the stock price. And Disney is showing that even a global pandemic isn't going to slow down this behemoth of a company for very long.