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Goldman Upgrades Walt Disney to 'Outperform'

Goldman Sachs upgraded Walt Disney (DIS) to outperform from in-line.

Analyst Anthony Noto upgraded in context of a cautious sector view. He believes shares have about a 20%-30% appreciation potential that will be driven by a two-stage recovery in earnings per share back to normalized levels. He notes current fiscal 2004 (Sept.) Street estimates do not reflect a significant benefit of home-video growth that will bridge an earnings per share recovery in fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2005.

Noto says growth of home video and cable net additions in fiscal 2004 provides a cushion for a longer-tailed recovery in theme parks and the ABC network. He sees 63 cents fiscal 2003 earnings per share, and raised the 78 cents fiscal 2004 earnings per share estimate to 85 cents. Noto also set a $1.00 fiscal 2005 estimate.

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