Stock in the Walt Disney Company has been a wild ride over the past few years. It reached all-time highs in 2021 and then faced massive sell-offs.
Although many people criticized Bob Chapek’s running as CEO when he took over in February 2020, the stock price today is similar. When Chapek left, it sat at $91.80; today, it sits at $91.99.
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Many people believed that the return of Bob Iger as Disney’s CEO would be just the shot in the arm the company needed after Chapek’s reign. As CEO, Chapek got the company involved in a fight with Governor Ron DeSantis, hiked theme Park prices (and cut Resort benefits), and Disney stock price dropped 37%. However, Bob Iger’s leadership doesn’t seem to be turning anything around – at least not during these first six months.
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It was announced at the earnings call this past Wednesday (May 10, 2023) that Disney+ had lost 4 million subscribers, and Bob Iger also signaled that there were no significant changes in the feud with the Florida governor. In fact, comments made by Iger implied that due to the legal battles with Ron DeSantis, Disney might be halting plans to invest in their Florida theme parks. If that is true, it doesn’t do much to help investors feel confident in the company’s future.
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Bob Iger has walked back some of the controversial decisions made by Bob Chapek, such as charging for parking when staying at a Disney Resort. Benefits such as these may ease the burden of planning a Walt Disney World vacation, but the Walt Disney Company is trying to spin many plates at once. In addition to theme Parks and Resorts, they also have box office numbers that have been inconsistent at best and Disney+ numbers that continue to fall worldwide for the second quarter.
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If Bob Iger has any tricks, now is the time to use them. Disney was once the leader in entertainment and tourism but now seems to need help in both sectors. In contrast, other films such as Super Mario Bros. (2023) and theme Park companies (Univeral Studios) seem to be gaining on Disney’s market share.
In 10 years from now, will the Walt Disney Company look the same as it does today? Time will tell…