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Walt Disney - Essay Example

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Walt Disney: A Media Powerhouse Facing Intense Competition, Opportunities for Growth Name Instructor Class 26 July 2012 Introduction For more than nine decades, Walt Disney is a widely-known cartoonist, who created Mickey Mouse and many other lovable characters…
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Walt Disney: A Media Powerhouse Facing Intense Competition, Opportunities for Growth 26 July Introduction For more than nine decades, Walt Disney is a widely-known cartoonist, who created Mickey Mouse and many other lovable characters. The Walt Disney Company’s roots began on October 16, 1923, when Walt signed a deal with M. J. Winkler to create a series of Alice Comedies. This contract formed the first Disney Company, called The Disney Brothers Studio. On October 1, 2005, Robert A. Iger becomes president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Company's headquarters are located at 500 S. Buena Vista St, Burbank, CA 91521. At present, The Walt Disney Company, hereinafter called Disney or the Company, collectively with its subsidiaries, is a “diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in five business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive Media” (United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 2011, p.1). On December 31, 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (Marvel). Operations Disney is a media conglomerate and it operates “The Media Networks.” It is a segment is made of international and domestic cable networks and its broadcasting business, which is made of a “domestic broadcast television network, television production operations, domestic and international television distribution, domestic television stations, domestic and international broadcast radio networks, domestic radio stations, and publishing and digital operations” (SEC, 2011, p.1). The Company’s cable networks group owns ESPN, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family and SOAPnet networks. The cable networks group creates its own programs or obtains rights from third parties to air on its networks. The Company also has ownership in joint ventures that control programming services (SEC, 2011, p.1). Moreover, the Company operates the ABC Television Network. As of October 1, 2011, ABC had affiliation agreements with 238 local stations and reached 99% of all U.S. television households (SEC, 2011, p.4). This company is different from others, because of its diversified media portfolio. It offers more than the news, because it provides fantasy entertainment services through its Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, and Consumer Products and Interactive Media segments. The company also has a strong brand name, including its own subsidiaries. It owns one of the most powerful brands in the entertainment business, Disney (Datamonitor, 2011, p.5). Disney generates a strong corporate brand that its employees and consumers rated favorably in numerous surveys (Datamonitor, 2011, p.5). It also has numerous other strong brands, such as as ESPN, Miramax, Touchstone, and Pixar. Financial Status Disney is a publicly traded company. According to Businessweek (2012, July 26), Disney has been able to grow revenues from $38.1 billion in 2010 to $40.9 billion in 2011. It has been able to decrease the percentage of sales devoted to price of goods sold from 81.68% to 80.86%. This primarily boosted the bottom line increase of 20%, from $4.0 billion in 2010 to $4.8 billion in 2011. For the past 52 weeks, stock prices increased in general, though it has dropped since July 18, 2012. Its last stock price is $49.79. See figure 1 for Stock Charts. Disney has a market capitalization of $89.0 billion. Figure 1: Disney’s Stock Charts for the past 52 weeks Source: Businessweek (2012, July 26) Analysis The strengths of the company are diversified product and service portfolio, ownership of popular media brands, extensive customer penetration of the cable networks operations, parks and resorts operations’ strong brand equity, strong financial performance, and organizational culture. Some of its weaknesses are dependence on North American markets, high operating costs, increasing costs of health and welfare benefits, and weak financial growth in the Studio Entertainment segment. There are opportunities in acquisitions, distribution agreement with successful media companies, and new franchise releases. The threats come from regulatory risks, intense competition in all its segments, piracy, and seasonality of the business. Summary As a media behemoth, Disney has significant revenues, but it also has extensive operating costs. The costs of maintaining theme parks alone are astronomical, and the same goes for producing music, TV shows and films. References Businessweek. (2012, July 26). Walt Disney Co/The (DIS:New York). Retrieved from http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?ticker=DIS:US Datamonitor. (2011). The Walt Disney Company SWOT Analysis. Datamonitor, 1-9. Goldman, L. (2011, February 4). The 15 best media companies to work for. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/best-media-companies-to-work-for-2011-2?op=1 United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (2011).10 K. Retrieved from http://cdn.media.ir.thewaltdisneycompany.com/2011/annual/WDC-10kwrap-2011.pdf Walt Disney Company, The. (no date). Disney History. Retrieved from http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/about-disney/company-overview Read More
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