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‘Avengers’ Heroes to Save Disney’s Earnings: Analysts

Source: Marvel.com

The “Avengers” super-hero flick cost Marvel Studios, a division of Walt Disney, about $220 million to produce — and it only took a weekend to make most of it back.

Grossing about $207 million in North America and $300 million globally, the movie’s box office has already raked in more than “Iron Man,” “Thor,” and “Captain America” combined.

Investors are joining the fan club. Disney shares rose Monday, and are up about 23 percent over the last six months.

Analysts also expect more pop as the sequels keep coming: “The Avengers” paves the way for three more planned films, each a sequel to other movies featuring Avenger characters.

“Rarely you see one movie moving the needle on a stock, but we’re bucking that trend today,” said Tuna Amobi, media analyst for Standard & Poors. “This couldn’t have come at a more fortuitous time for Disney.” Amobi has a “buy” rating on the stock.

Disney lost millions on its 3D adventure film “John Carter” less than two months ago, but it is already bouncing back.

“Investors are already salivating about the potential upside from multi-platform sales,” he said, expecting consumer products, theme products, and cable television divisions to gain from the new franchise.

In the same interview, however, Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente gave Disney an “equal weighting” rating, with a $44 price target, which Disney shares are already approaching.

One day ahead of Disney’s quarterly earnings announcement, DiClemente praised the company’s outsized Marvel Studios acquisition, which skeptics had called much too expensive.

Not so, he says — especially if “Disney can continue to grow franchises like this out of Marvel.”

Additional News: ‘The Avengers’ Premiers in US

Additional Views: Disney’s ‘Avengers’ Makes Up for John Carter Flop

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Disclosures:

Neither Tuna Amobi nor Anthony DiClemente personally own shares in DIS, but the company is an investment banking client of Amobi's firm, S&P. Barclays Bank and/or an affiliate has received compensation for investment banking services from DIS in the past 12 months.

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Follow Jennifer Leigh Parker on Twitter @jparker741.