The daily Disney drama continues. In the midst of one of the worst crisis in The Walt Disney Company’s history, newly minted (albeit virtually invisible) CEO Bob Chapek has been appointed to the company’s board of directors.
“Bob Chapek has demonstrated remarkable leadership in the face of unprecedented challenges that were unimaginable when he became CEO just seven weeks ago, and we’ve watched him navigate this very complex situation with decisiveness and compassion,” said Iger and Susan Arnold, independent lead director of the Disney board. “We are pleased to add Bob to the Board, as we stated we would when he was named CEO.”
Most would argue, successfully, that Bob Iger has been the most visible Disney leader during this crisis. But I guess a promise is a promise.
Meanwhile, analysts are warning investors that there’s even rougher water ahead for Disney.
LightShed Partners analyst Richard Greenfield is telling investors to stay away from Disney right now. Greenfield predicts that Disney’s earnings are “likely to be far lower than investors realize.”
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter…
“While Disney’s theme park will hopefully get back to normalized levels at some point, predicting that timeframe is nearly impossible and in the interim, Disney’s media network businesses will worsen considerably.”
“TV advertising is collapsing, movie and TV production has stopped (there is unlikely to be even be a fall TV season), sports are on hiatus with no return date known etc.”
“Disney’s unique ability to monetize its intellectual property into so many other aspects of its business also becomes its critical vulnerability during and after COVID-19. This vulnerability means that Disney’s earnings power will be significantly reduced from how investors think about normalized earnings.“
Well, the next quarterly earnings report on May 12 should be interesting, to say the least.
I’m sure investors are going to have a lot of tough questions.
[Sources: THR, Variety]