Disney's streaming business is already being valued by investors at more than $100 billion, according to an estimate by Barclays, showing that investors have high confidence less than two months after Disney+ launched.
Barclays estimated the value of the streaming services (Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+) by calculating an enterprise value for the core business of Disney, and then subtracting that estimate from the company's current total enterprise value of roughly $320 billion. Enterprise value is a measure that combines market cap with short- and long-term debt.
Barclays pegs Disney's core business (movie studio, parks, etc) at $213 billion. That leaves Disney's direct-to-consumer streaming businesses worth around $107 billion to $108 billion.
Shares of Disney are about 6% above their closing price on Nov. 11, the day before the new streaming service launched. The stock is up more than 30% in the past year.
"Just 6 weeks into launch, Disney is already pricing in a streaming business worth $108bn, 69% of Netflix's enterprise value which has taken 13 years to get here," Barclays said.
Disney has a market cap of about $260 billion, while Netflix is at about $144 billion.
But this doesn't make Barclays bullish on Disney from here. The high valuation for the company's streaming business is one reason the firm said that the stock could be a relative underperformer.
Disney+ debuted in November, gaining more than 10 million subscribers on its first day. As of October, Netflix had 158 million subscribers globally and more than 60 million in the United States.
Rosenblatt Securities analyst Bernie McTernan said last week that Disney+ will reach 25 million subscribers by the end of the first quarter. Disney has set a target of 60 million to 90 million subscribers globally by the end of its 2024 fiscal year.
In order to keep growing its streaming services, which also include Hulu and ESPN+, Disney may need to sign distribution deals with internet service providers, Barclays said. This could create bundled products of streaming products and internet service, providing a boost to broadband companies, Barclays said.
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