The company behind Frozen continued its hot streak on Wall Street today as shares touched an all time high of $96.43. Investors have been upbeat for a while about Disney’s prospects this year — the share price appreciated 30.5% over the last 52 weeks. The risk is that buyers might expect too much: Disney’s shares are pricey compared to its peers. It goes for 22.3 times earnings which compares to Time Warner at 18.5, Fox at 18.4, Comcast at 17.8, Viacom at 13.4, and CBS at 10.7.
But a few developments have helped to lift Disney’s stock price about 4% over the last five days as of midday, outpacing the overall market. (The Dow and S&P are losing steam in afternoon trading.)
ESPN saw record ratings Monday from its first College Football Playoff National Championship, where Ohio State beat the University of Oregon. That suggests the sports cable network will see a healthy return from its 2012 college playoff deal that runs to 2025 at a cost estimated at $7.3 billion. ABC Family also started the year strongly: Ratings jumped 52% in the week ending January 4 vs the same week last year helped by Hunger Games and Twilight marathons.
And Disney gave investors reason to remain optimistic about its upcoming film slate — even ahead of Star Wars in December: The company built some buzz for Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which opens May 1, by dropping a new trailer into Monday’s college football game. And today the Consumer Products operation disclosed toy plans for this year’s two Pixar releases: Inside Out (June 19) and The Good Dinosaur (November 25). Japan’s TOMY will make the character figures. “We put our hearts into these films, so it’s incredibly important to us that our toy-making partners care about and do justice to these characters we know so well,” Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter says.