One Of The World’s Best Brands Is On Sale
No matter if the day’s headlines are about the Federal Reserve, China, the Presidential debates — I don’t care what it is — chances are, 95% of the time it’s just market noise. It’s important for investors to spend the majority of their efforts looking for market opportunities.
I’m not saying this “noise” should be completely ignored, but for most investors it means this should be filtered through a lens that’s focused simply on buying shares of fantastic companies at reasonable prices.
#-ad_banner-#This has been on my mind recently during the volatility we’ve experienced during the past few weeks, and it’s drawn my attention to a sector we don’t often talk about here at StreetAuthority.
On August 4, media entertainment giant Disney (NYSE: DIS) reported quarterly earnings. In its conference call, management said that cable subscriptions to its ESPN network would fall about 1% in 2016.
For some reason, this seemed to shock investors, although this was not new news. The so-called “cord-cutting” movement — that is, consumers who choose to drop their cable services in favor of cheaper streaming alternatives like Netflix and Hulu — has been a known factor for some time.
Nevertheless, shares of Disney took a dive, and are off nearly 15% since then.
But here’s the thing… ESPN is seen as a crown jewel in the broadcasting realm. The network’s moniker, The Worldwide Leader in Sports, lives up to its name. It is THE name in sports broadcasting, with popular programming such as SportsCenter, Monday Night Football, NBA basketball and Major League Baseball games in its lineup.
And watchers of this industry know that while traditional broadcast networks such as CBS, NBC and Fox have struggled to combat viewership losses (and declining ad dollars) from cord-cutters, live sporting events are something of a last line of defense when it comes to a consumer’s decision to drop their cable service.
And here’s a fun little fact about your cable bill you might not know. Cable providers such as Time Warner, Comcast and DirecTV must pay Disney for the right to carry the ESPN network and its programming. The same is true for Fox News, TNT and a host of other popular cable networks.
But ESPN dwarfs all other cable networks when it comes to the premium it commands. According to in The Wall Street Journal, cable providers pay up to $6.04 per customer, per month for ESPN rights. The TNT network comes in a distant second at $1.48, while the median cost per channel is a mere $0.14.
All total, it costs about $45 a month for cable providers to bring the channels featured in their packages to customers each month. And as the article noted above states, media-research firm SNL Kagan projects this cost to rise by 35% by 2018.
Now here’s where this plays into the comments by Disney management that seemed to upset the market… These rights fees are built in with 5% annual increases each year — more than enough to offset a 1% decline in subscribers. And remember, we’re only talking about one division (albeit an important one) in a huge media empire.
Still, the announcement sent a tremor throughout the entire media and entertainment sector. Take a look at this table, which shows how various names in the sector have fared since Aug. 4.
Now, to my mind, the selloff has been unwarranted. Most of the investor “herd” seems to look for excuses to dump shares of quality companies during periods of market volatility and turmoil.
But, in my opinion, Disney falls under the auspices of what we at StreetAuthority like to call a “Forever” stock. Research firm Morningstar gives the company a “wide moat” rating — and for good reason. Between the power of ESPN, Pixar, Marvel, the newly-acquired Star Wars franchise — not to mention the Disney brand itself — it’s clear the company isn’t going anywhere.
Disney and ESPN executives have already made moves to combat the cable subscriber losses from cord-cutting by offering a number of “over-the-top” streaming options that exist outside of the cable realm. And on other fronts, there is plenty to be excited about for Disney’s long-term growth. That includes the opening of the Shanghai Disney theme park and resort in Spring 2016, as well as the film division’s long-awaited entry in the Star Wars franchise, set to open in theaters this December (projections are already calling for a record $615 million opening weekend.)
Add it all together, and investors have a rare opportunity to buy shares of a fantastic company for a much cheaper price than just a couple months ago. This isn’t a short-term trade, but shares could easily recover their losses once the overall market stabilizes and investors recover from myopia and see that the long-term trajectory of Disney is still intact.
While the stock still trades at a premium to the market in terms of price-to-earnings despite the selloff, I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Great companies should carry a premium valuation to the market. I plan to follow this stock closely in the coming months and expect 20% upside within a year.
Buy The Entire Sector At A Discount — And Get An 11% Yield
Another option is to capitalize on the wider media entertainment sector selloff by buying shares of one of my colleague Amy Calistri’s favorite dividend-paying funds. This fund holds stocks from some of the largest names in the broadcasting, telecom, publishing and entertainment industries.
And thanks to the way this fund is structured, at current prices you’re essentially paying 90 cents on the dollar to own a diverse basket of media names like Disney, DirecTV, Yahoo, Sony, Grupo Televisa and more. What’s more the fund pays a stunning 11% yield. All of this is why Amy rates the fund as a “Top Pick” in her premium newsletter, The Daily Paycheck.
Investments like this have helped many of Amy’s subscribers — from all walks of life — make $300… $1,666… $3,000… even more than $4,000 per month from dividends. If you’re interested in learning more, then I encourage you to check out Amy’s report on her Daily Paycheck Retirement Plan. I promise you won’t be disappointed.