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How Disney became the most important company on earth

Kevin Chupka
Executive Producer/Writer

In a world where violence and plague lock horns for the right to control our nightmares. At a time when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJIA) teeters on brink. One gritty, gutty consumer conglomerate stands between human kind and destruction. That company is Disney (DIS) and tonight they report.

Maybe the fate of the world isn't riding on whether or not Disney can beat estimates of $1.16 on $12.2 billion in revenues but the near term direction of my net worth is. I've been long the stock for five years; an eternity by my standard. But this isn't about me. You're on the hook as well whether you know it or not. It doesn't matter what your personally feelings toward Disney are.  The fact is Disney is both the most influential company on earth and the single best "tell" on the state of the global economy available.


The very existence of the M&A frenzy gaining steam in media is due to Disney. Disney owns ABC which has ESPN which is itself an empire. Last year Disney made $10.7 billion in profits $6.8 of which came from media networks. Rupert Murdoch is chasing Time Warner (TWX) solely to be able to compete with Disney. Murdoch wants to be Mick Jagger to Bob Iger's Paul McCartney and he'll pay almost any price to do it.

Because Disney is so good their results are a one-stop shop for checking in on the U.S. and global consumer. Disney doesn't whine about the weather despite the fact that theme parks account for a third of their revenues. When other companies were whining about the recession in 2009 Disney was busy paying $4.2 billion for Marvel comics; an acquisition that has generated $7 billion in box office and completely obscured the decline of Pixar.

Related: Why China, not the U.S., is the audience Hollywood wants

Disney just wins, baby. Other companies are bigger and more profitable but no one has Disney's clout. The stock is at all-time highs but that's almost secondary. You need to pay attention to Disney tonight because what happens there will influence every other aspect of your portfolio. The company is that important. You don't have to like them but respect must be paid.

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