Walt Disney’s acquisitions race that included swallowing much of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in 2019, and a reputation for operational excellence, turned the company into the world’s strongest entertainment machine.
That girth has now made it the most vulnerable amongst media firms through the global coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Wall Street will assess the level of injury and look for indicators of a bottom.
With sports leagues dormant, Disney’s ESPN cable channel has resorted to showing reruns of old games and fringe programming like stone-skipping competitions. Revenue facilities similar to its theme parks and cruises are either closed or docked. Its powerful content engine has retarded dramatically as productions are on hiatus, and movie theaters stay dark.
The corporate’s fiscal Q2 financial report Tuesday will offer the first evaluation of the damage the coronavirus has wreaked on Disney’s international business.
Overall, analysts anticipate Disney to record $17.8 billion in revenue from January through March, up 19% from 14.9 billion a year prior, and earnings/share of 89 cents, down 45% from $1.61 a year earlier.
The earnings report will also be the first outing in front of Wall Street for Bob Chapek, the former parks chief who moved into the chief executive’s role in February as the pandemic unfolded all over the world. Chapek took on the new position as Bob Iger stepped down to become executive chairman.