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Goldman Cuts Disney Rating

Walt Disney (DIS) posted $0.18 vs. $0.19 third quarter EPS (as reported) on 3% lower revenues. Goldman Sachs downgraded its investment rating on the shares to market outperform from trading buy.

Analyst Richard Greenfield says with weakening consumer confidence and heightened terrorism concerns, Disney has seen significant weakening in booking activity at its theme parks, compounded by increased marketing costs spent in anticipation of a recovery that failed to materialize. He cut his $0.64 fiscal 2002 EPS estimate to $0.56 and his $0.90 forecast for fiscal 2003 (ending September) to $0.70. Given the lack of visibility in the U.S. economy, Greenfield believes a near-term trading buy recommendation would be inappropriate. Focusing on the underlying value of Disney's businesses, he rates the shares market outperform.

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