Is Disney on a spending spree?

Financial analysis suggests CEO Iger is spending $12 billion in next three years, but will it pay off?

By TheWrap Feb 25, 2010 2:41PM
We knew that Bob Iger was taking a big bet on his transformation of the Walt Disney Co. (DIS), but I don’t know that anyone realized it was quite this big a bet -- $12 billion, according to an analysis by Bloomberg today.

The financial wire service writes:

"Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger, 59, is on a spending spree at the world’s biggest media company to transform his film studio, amusement parks and stores."

In addition to spending $4 billion for Marvel (which some believed was a serious over-spend for the characters it acquired), the media giant is building two new cruise ships and is giving its remaining retail stores a high-tech takeover.


The total price tag, through 2014: more than $12.3 billion, according to New York-based Soleil Securities Corp. analyst Alan Gould, a 59 percent increase over the prior five years. That's the kind of thing that makes some people dump stock.


And indeed, the piece is a fairly scathing review of the company, which is in not-as-bad shape as the radical makeover might suggest, but also might not be on the path that fiscal conservatives would embrace. 


In fiscal 2009, net income at Disney fell 25 percent to $3.3 billion -- the worst annual performance in Iger’s five-year reign -- and was almost flat in the first quarter of 2010 compared with a year earlier.


The studio’s operating income dropped 84 percent in fiscal 2009, its worst showing in a decade, before rebounding in the first quarter, which ended Jan. 2.


But that information has to be placed in the context of a miserable world econony, and the wake of a crash of financial markets globally.


Read more at TheWrap.


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