Disney Streaming Sees Slower Growth as Consumers Venture Out of the House
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The world’s largest entertainment company posted a significant slowdown in subscriber sign-ups at its flagship streaming service in the most recent quarter, ending two years of strong growth that had helped the company survive Covid-19 and expand its media dominance into the home. Disney+ added just over two million subscribers in the fourth quarter ending Oct. 2, the company said, bringing its total to 118.1 million. Analysts had expected this quarter’s total to come to 125.3 million. During the previous quarter, Disney+ had added more than 12 million new subscribers. Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek said the company was managing its direct-to-consumer business “for the long term, not quarter to quarter.” The service is still on track to reach previous guidance of between 230 million and 260 million paid Disney+ subscribers globally by the end of fiscal 2024, he said. Disney’s shares, down 3.7% year to day, fell more than 4% to $167 a share in after-hours trading.
The trend of small daily gains since the beginning of the week continued on the Swiss stock market on Wednesday. The SMI gained 0.3 per cent to 12,401 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 13 gainers and 6 losers, with Swiss Life closing unchanged. 31.83 (Tuesday: 28.87) million shares were traded. Among the individual stocks in the SMI, Alcon was in focus after its quarterly report. The eye care group posted a small profit of 2 million dollars after a loss of 147 million dollars in the previous year, but increased sales significantly by 15 per cent to 2.08 billion dollars. Its shares were the third biggest loser, down 1.1 per cent. Even weaker without new news were Richemont (-1.4 per cent) and Partners Group (-1.7 per cent). The biggest gainers were Novartis with a plus of only 0.9 per cent to 76.60 francs, however.
European equity indices ended higher on Wednesday, with investors showing no particular concern after the announcement of higher-than-expected inflation in the US in October. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2% to 483.8 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 each gained 0.03%. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 rose 0.2%, while the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.9%, buoyed by encouraging corporate results. Marks & Spencer Group PLC on Wednesday reported a swing to pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 and raised its full-year guidance while warning that labor-market and logistics issues will put pressure on costs. The U.K. retailer added that it plans to assess the resumption of dividend payments as part of its capital-allocation program once the business returns to sustainable profit growth. No dividend is expected to be paid this year. Pretax profit for the half year ended Oct. 2 was 187.3 million pounds ($253.9 million) compared with a loss of GBP87.6 million for the comparable half year. Siemens Energy AG said Wednesday that its loss narrowed in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year as revenue grew across segments, and issued guidance for fiscal 2022. The German energy company reported a loss of 310 million euros ($359.3 million) compared with a loss of EUR372 million for the previous-year period, mainly due to restructuring costs and the delayed turnaround of the onshore business of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA . Revenue rose 7.4% on year to EUR8.20 billion, while orders increased 30% to EUR9.10 billion, boosted by the gas and power business and Gamesa, the company said.
U.S. stocks fell after data showing that inflation hit a three-decade high added to investors' concerns about price pressures in the global economy. The benchmark S&P 500 dropped 0.8% a day after ending an eight-session streak of record closes, its longest run of records since 1997. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.7%. Fresh data showed that U.S. inflation rose in October to its highest level since 1990, driven by supply shortages and strong consumer demand. The annual rate of inflation stood at 6.2%. Zillow Group Inc. reached a deal to sell about 2,000 homes from its ill-fated house-flipping program, the company’s biggest bulk sale as it starts unloading thousands of homes and terminates the business. Pretium Partners, a New York City-based investment firm, has agreed to buy Zillow homes across 20 U.S. markets and plans to rent them out, according to people familiar with the matter. The digital real-estate company said it intends to sell roughly 9,800 homes it owns, plus another 8,200 it had been in the process of buying. Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Chapek put a spotlight on the company’s flagship streaming service, Disney+, ahead of fourth-quarter earnings when he warned investors that subscriber growth had slowed. Disney will report its quarterly and fiscal year earnings on Wednesday after the stock market closes, but Mr. Chapek signaled in September that subscriber rates for Disney+ would be in the low single digits of millions. At the time of his remarks, analysts had been expecting 13 million new sign-ups for the quarter, according to FactSet.
The spectre of inflation, with concerns about higher interest rates in tow, is slowing down the stock markets in Asia and Australia in late trading on Thursday. In the Chinese heartland, share prices are rising, the leading index in Shanghai is showing a friendly performance and is thus one of the winners in the region. In Hong Kong, on the other hand, the HSI turns slightly positive - held back by heavyweight Tencent (-2.9 per cent).
Treasury yields remained elevated in Asia after they advanced across the board on Wednesday, with the 10-year rate seeing its biggest daily rise in a year.
Credit Suisse rises Bayer target to 57 (55) EUR – Neutral
Credit Suisse rises Klöckner target to 9,20 (9) EUR – Underperform
IR rises Vonovia to Buy (Hold) – Target 58 (54) EUR
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