At the very core of our investment advisory practice is our investment selection process (how we find investments, analyze them and decide whether or not to invest in them). Without this, we really have nothing. Many times, we don’t get to go into much detail with clients about this facet of our business. To that, we wanted to share with you an example of our analysis. While this is just a summary, the hope is it gives a view into how we look at businesses (many times differently than others do).
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) is a company we are all very familiar with, but do all investors view it the same way? Apparently, no! If so, the stock would not be down 20%+ from it’s highs set last year. For us, this creates a buying opportunity for three reasons: 1) We know the company is a solid producer of Economic Value Added (EVA)(this is our main financial metric we look at), 2) The company itself is one of a kind with unheard of invaluable intangibles, and 3) Maybe most importantly, we don’t share “Mr. Market’s” view of the company. (“Mr. Market” is what we call the stock market).
Mr. Market is concerned with “cord cutters” and the impact they are having on DIS subscribers (Nearly half of DIS revenue comes from its Media Outlets). More specifically, Mr. Market is concerned with decreasing ESPN subscribers. You see, people can now go and watch sports, shows, etc. on their computer, phone, wherever. And they can also get it on Netflix, Hulu, etc. They don’t need cable TV (or a TV for that matter)! Even though DIS is shooting the lights out with their franchises (Marvel, Star Wars, etc.), Mr. Market focuses on this aspect of their business… and in our opinion they are way off!
Yes, subscribers will continue to decline, but people still want to watch the same, great, quality content! And DIS, has ALL the content they want and need! So, as long term investors, do we care if there is a short term blip in subscribers while DIS (and all the other media outlets) work on new ways to monetize their content? We only care to the extent that Mr. Market is over reacting and we get a chance to buy DIS at a 20% discount to where it was last year.
That’s just a glimpse into our thinking on this great company that we feel has a long way to grow and prosper. Please feel free to read the attached Company Analysis Summary for The Walt Disney Company as well.