There might be more bad news for ESPN: As many 300 people there will lose their jobs soon after parent Disney ordered the sports enterprise to slash the 2016 budget by $100 million and the following year’s by $250 million, sports news site The Big Lead reports.
ESPN disputes the budget-cut figures but isn’t discussing details. While it won’t confirm or deny the layoffs, the company says in a statement that it “has historically embraced evolving technology to smartly navigate our business. Any organizational changes will be announced directly to our employees if and when appropriate.”
Reading between the lines, that seems to suggest that if there are job cuts at ESPN then they would be strategic — tied to changes in the business — as opposed to mere cost reductions.
Still, the news follows a series of developments that indicate Disney has concerns about its most profitable asset. The company’s share price is down 15.7% since August 4 when it reported that ESPN’s “modest” sub losses meant that the year’s domestic cable affiliate revenues would, as CFO Christine McCarthy put it, “fall a bit short of our previous expectations.”
Others warn that ESPN’s sub losses could pick up as pay TV and streaming services introduce skinny bundles, low-priced packages with fewer channels than most buy in the expanded basic bundle. Last week, Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne noted that “few of the currently available skinny bundles include ESPN.” He estimated that Disney’s cable affiliate revenue
When the earnings misses hit, this will again look like and trade like the cyclical stock that it is. A mature industry with a lot of competition trading like it is some sort of cutting edge growth play is absurd to say the least.
Wonder if the charge for the ESPN layoffs will be included in this quarter. I may have to short some of this going into earnings even given my aversion to shorting being that it is the biggest sitting duck in the market today. IMO..
If its the third most shorted stock, that means there are people who control a lot of money who see what is obvious if anyone cares to look. Valuation stretched thin.
The big money didn't get big by following messages of feel good no brains cheerleading movie retreads.
Bubbleheads keep buying. The sooner foolish money is burned off, the sooner recovery begins.
The one written by the Star Wars/Star Trek no brain? That article?
Even wth this minor correction equities remain anything but cheap. Lots of empty space unde DIS at 97.
CBS/Fox 6-7 times earnings. Viacom 10 times earnings. Even Comcast/Time Warner is only 15-16 times earnings, using the term "only" loosely and for comparison purposes only.
But Cramer says DIS is "Best of Breed". Do a google search on Cramer, "Winners for the New World". He is famous for leading you to the most overvalued of stocks during market tops.
My favorite delusional DIS investors are the ones who pull stock price objectives from thin air. DIS 150. It's such a special company that 5 times sales and 30 times peak earnings is appropriate?
This "quality investment" has broken down badly. If you don't see it, you are not looking. Hopefully, you not investing anyone's money other than your own.