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Sanford Bernstein Upgrades Disney Rating


Sanford Bernstein upgraded Walt Disney (DIS) to outperform from market perform.

Analyst Tom Wolzien says despite the abysmal performance of its theme parks and ABC last year, Disney's stock performed roughly in line with the market (+3%), suggesting not only investor patience, but also stability that provides a foundation for appreciation as the company rebuilds. Wolzien notes the ABC Network is seen as having "turned the corner" on prime time programming this year, providing a solid foundation on which to build for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, aiding owned television stations.

Wolzien raised his 62 cents fiscal 2003 (Sept.) earnings per share estimate to 65 cents, and upped the 76 cents fiscal 2004 estimate to 81 cents. He has a $20 target.


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