Disney shares jump after cheery forecast

NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co shares rose 5 percent on Friday after its upbeat forecast cheered investors and prompted at least one broker to raise the price target on the stock. Shares of the entertainment and media powerhouse climbed to $37.71, up $1.85, in early trade and flirted with the 52-week high of $37.98. UBS raised its price target on the company to $37 from $35 a share. The stock market's reaction comes a day after Disney reported quarterly results that appeared to show weaker-than-expected earnings and raised concerns about disappointing revenue at its media networks division, the company's largest. But during a conference call with analysts, Disney executives suggested the company expected rising ad sales, pricing and theme park attendance. "Given the large number of media earnings upside surprises this quarter, Disney's miss was all the more surprising," Nomura analyst Michael Nathanson wrote in a research note. "Even upon scanning the press release, the results seemed weak. However, it turns out that you can't judge a quarter by a press release." Nathanson pointed out there were unexpected, one-time items in the quarter that affected the earnings, and that on an "apples-to-apples" basis its results were actually better than analysts on average had expected. Disney was the only major media company trading higher early Friday, with News Corp, Time Warner Inc, CBS, and Viacom each down about 1 percent. (Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Derek Caney) ((paul.thomasch@thomsonreuters.com; 1 646 223-6092; Reuters Messaging: paul.thomasch.reuters.com@reuters.com)) Keywords: DISNEY/SHARES (Visit http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/ for more coverage at the Reuters MediaFile blog) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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