Disney had the banner of the year on Wall Street. Apple, Facebook, AT&T, and Discovery did the same, with another year of dramatic market changes for traditional media and digital giants.
Disney’s strategic decisions drove markets and dominated discussions about the fate of traditional media throughout the year. After the end of 2018, when the company’s shares remained virtually unchanged from the same period last year, Disney shares ended the year on Tuesday at $ 144.63, an increase of 31.9% over the year. (See table below)
A big emphasis for Disney is the April 11 presentation for investors, which outlines the Disney Plus streaming service plans. Shares jumped nearly 12% the next day, and have since been lively. The Disney Plus release on November 12 provided stocks with a 7-day jump. Thank you, Baby Yoda.
“Disney Plus also had a great start thanks to the success of Mandalorian, which helped the service break even further,” wrote old media analyst Michael Nathanson earlier this month. “Indeed, what Disney Plus got with the Mandalorian is what Netflix had with the House of Cards – a series of tent floors to create noise and excitement in the new service.”
Disney’s largest traditional rivals – Comcast and AT & T – also received a better Wall Street reception than in 2018.
This year, the ranks of media giants shrank under two ticker symbols when Disney took over the Fox 21st Century in March. Viacom and CBS Corp. reunited in the recently launched ViacomCBS.
Viacom and CBS shares plummeted within a few weeks after the long-awaited swap agreement was officially announced on August 13th. Shares rose during the last month after closing the deal on December 4th. In 2018, both companies reduced the number of shares by two digits.
At Discovery Inc. It was a turbulent year when the company was faced with fluctuations in investor sentiment regarding the fate of traditional linear cable television companies. But stocks began to rise in early November, when Discovery reported earnings, which showed an increase in internal advertising and other signs of a resumption of momentum. The company’s increased activity in the field of streaming and direct communication with consumers at the international level is seen as a harbinger of future events. Discovery ended the year with 10% profit last year.
Comcast shares ended 2019 in a better place than it started, up 32% over the year. This year’s performance is compared to a 14% decline in 2018 amid the company’s battle with Disney for the 21st century Fox and Sky.
AT&T left the cellar this year after two years of uncertainty about the acquisition of Time Warner. The company’s fulfillment of its strategy to reduce debt through the sale of assets has strengthened the belief that the AT & T plan is working. Former Time Warner units are facing a boom in AT&T ownership, but the promised increase in AT&T revenue from Warner Bros. and HBO materialized, encouraging investors. The 37% improvement in 2019 is the long-awaited rebound from last year, when stocks fell 27%.
AMC Networks had a difficult year as it faced the same problems as Discovery. Recently, the company has emphasized its expansion efforts through niche streaming services such as Acorn, Urban Movie Channel and SundanceNow. The company, which is home to AMC, SundanceTV, BBC America, IFC and We TV, completed 2018 with a 1% increase.
Lionsgate recorded another gloomy frame, falling 33.8% on the heels after falling 52% in 2018. The company’s shares were shocked by the weak box office, questions about how this would lead to a large-scale acquisition of Starz since 2016, and other problems.
Among digital upstarts, FAANG Netflix grew 21% over the year, but the company had the most leap since it plunged into the original programming business in 2013.
Stocks hit hard in July and September amid concerns over slower growth in subscribers and increased programming commitments on Netflix’s balance sheet. But stocks have been growing ever since Disney Plus was introduced in mid-November, the most formidable competition Netflix has yet to face in the streaming arena. Last year, Netflix led FAANG with 33% profit.
Apple challenged seriousness with an 86.2% profit, despite the fact that 2019 began in January, when it was supposed to warn investors about a revision of earnings due to a slowdown in global iPhone sales. This forecast was confirmed in the second quarter. Apple also participated in “streaming wars” with its important step in producing and distributing original content with the launch of Apple TV Plus on November 1.
Investors must have believed Tim Cook in his word, “We run Apple in the long run,” he said after earnings fell, because stocks have been growing steadily since August. These figures are compared with an 8% decline in 2018.
The Amazon showed solid, albeit not impressive, numbers, up 17.3% from last year’s growth of 26%.
Facebook has been in the headlines non-stop with questions about its potentially damaging effects on discourse, politics and, of course, privacy. Last year, this led to a 25% decline in stock prices. But at the end of January, the stock increased significantly, and in the second half of the year continued to grow, completing with an increase of 56.6%.
Google had some buzz at the top this year as co-founder Larry Page stepped down as CEO of Alphabet’s parent company, while co-founder Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet. The company’s strangulation in the digital advertising market is attracting increasing attention from regulators and legislators at home and abroad.
But for now, investors are not scared. After falling into a small valley in June, Alphabet shares traded above $ 1,100 for the remainder of the year. The company, which went public in 2004, ended the year by 29% compared with a 1% drop last year.
(ranks by share price% profit / loss in 2019)
AT & T
January 2 close: $ 29.54
December 31 close price: $ 39.08
% profit / loss: + 37%
52-week range: $ 28.30- $ 39.70
January 2 close: $ 25.83
December 31 close price: $ 32.74
% profit / loss: + 32.3%
52-week range: $ 24.11 – $ 33.66
January 2 close: $ 34.37
December 31 close price: $ 44.97
% profit / loss: + 32%
52-week range: $ 33.42- $ 47.27
January 2 close: $ 108.97
December 31 close price: $ 144.63
% profit / loss: + 31.9%
52-week range: $ 105.94– $ 153.41
January 2 close: $ 45.66
December 31 close price: $ 41.97
% profit / loss: -4%
52-week range: $ 35.02 – $ 53.71
January 2 close: $ 56.64
December 31 close: $ 39.50
% profit / loss: -28%
52-week range: $ 35.60- $ 68.42
January 2 close: $ 16.62
December 31 close: $ 10.66
% profit / loss: -33.8%
52-week range: $ 7.65- $ 19
(ranks by share price% profit / loss in 2019)
January 2 close: $ 157.92
December 31 close price: $ 293.65
% profit / loss: + 86.2%
52-week range: $ 142- $ 293.97
January 2 close: $ 135.68
December 31 close price: $ 205.25
% profit / loss: + 56.6%
52-week range: $ 128.56–208.93
January 2 close: $ 1,045.85
December 31 close price: $ 1,337.02
% profit / loss: + 29%
52-week range: $ 1,014.07 – $ 1,365
January 2 close: $ 267.66
December 31 close price: $ 323.57
% profit / loss: + 21%
52-week range: $ 252.28- $ 385.99
January 2 close: $ 1,539.13
December 31 close price: $ 1,847.84
% profit / loss: + 17.3%
52-week range: $ 1,460.93 – $ 2,035.80