Disney's latest new superhero movie franchise is performing better than a top Wall Street firm ever imagined.
J.P. Morgan raised its fiscal second-quarter earnings-per-share estimate for Disney shares to $1.68 from $1.57.
The increase is "primarily due to the much stronger-than-expected performance of Black Panther," analyst Alexia Quadrani wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. "We believe the strength of Black Panther was largely unanticipated and therefore the company likely did not have adequate inventory to meet demand, limiting upside in the quarter" for its consumer products business.
The analyst said "Black Panther" generated $1.3 billion in ticket sales so far versus her previous forecast of $775 million. She is optimistic about Disney's film slate over the next few months such as "Avengers: Infinity War" later this month, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" in May and "The Incredibles 2" in June.
"We are encouraged by this positive estimate revision and expect healthy adj. EPS growth in F2018E led by ongoing Parks strength across both domestic and international and a much more favorable Studio slate that should help fuel healthier Consumer Products growth later this year," she wrote.
J.P. Morgan does not currently have a rating for Disney shares because it is acting as financial adviser for the media company.