Heading into its fiscal second quarter earnings announcement on Tuesday, Disney shares are trading around an all-time high, up about 50 percent over the past 12 months. With analysts growing increasingly optimistic this quarter, and the majority of analysts rating the company a "buy," the big question is whether the media giant will beat expectations as it did last quarter, sending the stock even higher.
Disney's biggest and most profitable division—media networks—will be in the spotlight. New carriage deals for ESPN, are expected to push revenues higher. Still, investors will have a keen interest in how advertising is faring at the networks. Disney's also been investing in its parks division, so investors will be looking for margins to start growing.
This quarter the studio, bolstered by "Oz: The Great and Powerful," faces easy comparisons to the year-ago quarter when big budget "John Carter" bombed. Perhaps even more important than this past quarter's films, are the current quarter's, including "Iron Man 3," which opened last weekend with the second biggest U.S. box office debut ever—$175 million. Though Disney never gives official guidance, analysts are sure to probe on the conference call for some indication of how the movie will boost the bottom line in the company's fiscal third quarter.