When You Wish Upon a CEO
People were looking for with the purchase of Lucasfilm for $4 billion. Plus, there were worries when it came to the future of ESPN, even as he told you not to worry about it. He said that ESPN -- one of the most amazing properties in the world because it simply can't be DVR'd effectively -- would do fine in 2013. Given how ESPN has been responsible for so much of the earnings power at Disney for many years, this lack of clarity stunned investors and traders alike.
Consequently, the stock, which had traded as high as $53 before the call, plummeted to $47 as analysts, traders and investors showed a remarkable lack of faith in Iger's assurances. I thought the whole sell-off was insulting to Iger and assured people that this would be a tempest in a teapot, and an investible one at that. I told Iger that too, simply because I was astonished that this man, who has done so much good at Disney, didn't get the benefit of the doubt.
Fast forward to last night. Iger delivered a quarter that literally answered every objection and then some. First, he laid out a multiyear vision for Lucasfilm, including multiple Star Wars iterations, plus other Star Wars-derived movie and entertainment properties that nobody had really counted on.
You could tell that this acquisition is sounding more and more like Marvel II, a repeat of the amazing success of that acquisition. Oh, and don't forget that the Marvel-derived Iron Man 3 (sans my cameo in the first Iron Man) will be out soon to what I suspect will be blockbuster success.
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