Disney Stock Still Has Some Magic Left: Pro
The stars of the latest Disney quarter were ESPN and the theme parks, but Wall Street analysts are divided on where the stock will go from here after a 30 percent surge so far this year.
"The whole TV network group is a great group right now," said Barton Crockett, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets. "You've got a lot of secular strength. These guys are able to get paid a lot more for their content."
Disney's strategy has been to use its content and big brands, such as Iron Man, across the entire business, including theme parks and toys.
"What's magic about Walt Disney is not that it's 'the happiest place on earth' but rather that they take every piece of content and intellectual property, and extend it to as many aspects of their business as possible, thus creating scale in programming," Jaison Blair, an analyst and managing director at Telsey Advisory Group, told CNBC,
Disney's theme parks business also has begun to turn. "That was really the star of the quarter," Crockett said.
(Read More: The Big Takeaways From Disney's Earnings)
With affiliate fees for ESPN locked in, Tony Wible of Janney Montgomery Scott said that performance could hinge on the theme parks.
"On ESPN, the largest source of revenue is their monthly affiliate fees," he said. "We have dialed in what those fees are going to be for a long time horizon. The swing factor here will be the theme parks."
But better performance in the theme parks is unlikely to push the stock much higher, Wible said, because "from here, all the positive things people know about."
Blair agreed, saying, "From an investment perspective, the one drawback is Disney common stock is up 90 percent over the past 18 months and 30 percent year to date." The prudent approach is to be a more cautious, he added.
But Crockett is still a Disney bull. "You're basically paying about the same multiple for the TV network stocks and Disney as you are for the S&P, but you're getting much better earnings growth," he said. "So I think the idea of multiple expansion for this group continues."
His $73 price target implies 12 percent upside. "I'm still a buyer of the stock," Crockett said.
Janney Montgomery Scott makes a market in Disney securities and seeks or expects to receive investment banking compensation from Disney.