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The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) is making headlines and exciting the New York Stock Exchange as its stock continues to climb its way out of a financial hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to Forbes, Disney stock has soared from $86 to $194 per share. Thanks to consumers’ increasing interest in the company’s streaming business Disney+, Walt Disney Co. has been able to outperform the market.
In February, the company announced that its flagship streaming service, which launched in November 2019, reached 94.9 million paid subscribers as of January 2, 2021 — the end of its first quarter. In addition to Disney+ subscribers, Disney reported having more than 39 million Hulu subscribers and 12 million ESPN+ subscribers. That’s a total of 146 million streaming customers that have Netflix shaking in its boots.)
Continued demand for streaming, combined with the gradual lift of lockdowns and a quick-and-efficient vaccine rollout, is predicted to boost Disney’s revenue and earnings even higher in 2021 and 2022, providing investors with a potential gain of 10%.
Of course, streaming is just one portion of Disney's diversification. As a media business, it took the reins from George Lucas and bought the Star Wars franchise and everything associated with it. It also owns Marvel, an extremely lucrative franchise, Pixel, ABC, and other media networks. Then there are Disney theme parks, cruise lines, and hotels – Mickey Mouse is a beloved character, and Disney World, Disneyland, and its various affiliated properties draw visitors by the millions. This is why Disney is a blue-chip stock.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get in on the action.
Before you decide to invest in Walt Disney Co., there are two things you should know.
First, when it comes to investing, there are no guarantees. This means that there’s a chance your investment may not result in a positive return. Before you run for the hills, just know this: doing your research beforehand will help you make an informed choice and therefore increase your chances of making a sound investment.
My second piece of advice? Once you’ve done the research, think about how much you can afford to invest. Remember, the stock market can be volatile. To ensure your financial security, create a budget and set aside money each month for your investment(s). Investing isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme, but it is possible to make a pretty penny over time.
After you’ve decided on how much to invest, you’ll need to figure out how to become a Disney shareholder. You can do this in one of three ways: buy stock directly from Disney via Disney’s direct stock purchase plan, purchase individual stocks through an online brokerage firm, or invest in mutual funds, index funds, and ETFs.
If you’re new to investing, opting to work with an online brokerage firm is the quickest (and easiest) way to buy and sell stocks on the go, whether you’re on a laptop or mobile device. What’s more? Several platforms allow users to buy fractional shares of equity, just in case you’re running low on funds. Ready to get started? Here are three online platforms to look into.
Similar to Robinhood, Stash is a mobile app that makes investing quick and easy for its users (including beginner investors!). Stash allows account-holders to invest in a variety of stocks for as low as $1 per month. Those who are interested in upgrading from the Beginner account can purchase a Growth account for $3 per month or Stash+ for $9 per month. Although there’s no minimum deposit required to open an account, Stash gives users who deposit $5 another $5 to invest.
With Stash, users can purchase fractional shares (including The Walt Disney Company) in any dollar amount. Stash isn’t a robo-advisor, so instead of receiving advice on which stocks to purchase, users are asked to choose an investment portfolio based on their financial goals.
Pros and cons
Stash is user-friendly and offers a hands-off approach to investing.
There’s no minimum deposit required to open an account.
Monthly fees start as low as $1.
New users can get $5 when they deposit $5.
Stash is based on a user’s goals and not on buying individual stocks.
The ETFs available through Stash have a high expense ratio.
Robinhood is a free-trading mobile app that allows users to trade stocks, options, and ETFs. There’s no account minimum and new members are offered one free stock at sign up. In addition to Robinhood’s free account option, the app also offers a Gold account that starts at $5 per month. Unlike the free version of Robinhood, Gold members are required to have a minimum balance of $2,000. Robinhood also offers fractional shares, which means members can pay as little as $1 for a “fraction” of a share.
The Robinhood app is ideal for beginner investors who are interested in getting their feet wet without making a major commitment. It’s easy to sign up and there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements to open a new account unless you’d like to open a Gold account, which is $5 per month and requires a minimum balance of $2,000.
Pros and cons
There’s no minimum deposit required to open a Robinhood account.
Robinhood offers fractional shares, which can come in handy for users who can’t afford the current share price.
Account-holders have the option to open a cash management account that includes a Mastercard debit card.
Robinhood lacks the educational tools/data that other investing apps (i.e. TD Ameritrade) have.
Users can open one type of account: a taxable brokerage account.
Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney launched Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio on October 16, 1923. The studio, which is now globally known as The Walt Disney Company, had many highlights along the way, including Disney’s first-ever sound film (which made its debut in 1928), “Steamboat Willie.” In 1937, Disney released its first feature-length animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Then, in 1950, Disney made its way into the homes of families everywhere via modern-day television.
Before Walt’s passing in 1966, the brothers opened Disneyland. A second theme park location, Disney World, was opened in 1971 just two months before Roy’s death. Despite losing its founders, the company continued to grow. Today, Disney owns and operates ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm.
Disney’s price history
Disney became an IPO in 1957 and sold each share for $13.88. What a deal, huh? If you’d invested $1,000 then, you’d be able to purchase 72 whole shares. After its IPO debut, the company has had six stock splits. (Meaning your original 72 shares would equal 27,648 shares today.) On December 23, 2020, Disney stock was trading at $173 per share — an initial investment of $1,000 would be worth $4.78 million.
Disney’s dividend information
A dividend is a payment that the company, in this case, Disney, makes to share profits with its stockholders. Dividends are paid regularly (i.e. quarterly, monthly, or semiannually depending on the company). Disney paid its first common stock dividend in 1956. According to NASDAQ, Disney’s last semi-annual dividend was $0.88 per common share, payable on January 16, 2020. However, it is reported Disney will not pay its usual semi-annual dividend in July 2021.
Best features of Disney stock
Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that California officials have provided updated guidelines that would allow the company’s theme parks to begin reopening beginning April 30, 2021. Although there will be restrictions and limited attendance to in-state residents, reopening (even with restrictions in place) will launch the company towards recovery. According to The Street, Disney shares touched “record levels” following the announcement. What’s more? Disney World had been booked solid for theme park tickets and resort guests through April 8, 2021.
In addition to the reopening of its parks, Disney forecasts its Disney+ subscriber pool will reach 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024.
Step 3: Open an account & buy Disney shares
Thanks to online brokerage firms, buying Disney stock is super simple and can be done within minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide for investing in Disney using Stash.
Once you’ve clicked on “Get started,” you’ll be greeted with a page that asks for your email address and a password. You’ll need this info on-hand to create your account. This process should take 5 minutes or less.
Now, you’ll be asked to provide a bit of personal information (including your name, citizenship status, date of birth, address, phone number, the purpose of investment, and your estimated pre-tax household income), so that Stash can help you figure out which investment options are right for you.
After you’ve completed filling out your information, you’ll be asked to choose a plan. Stash offers users three plan options, including Beginner, Growth, and Stash+.
Now that you’ve signed up, you can decide on the number of shares you’d like to purchase. Use the ticker symbol of Disney (DIS) to place your order. You’ll then be asked to choose between a market or limit order. You can also buy fractional shares.
How much were Disney shares when the company first went public?
Disney went public in 1957 at $13.88 per share.
How much does it cost to buy Disney shares today?
As of closing on April 1, 20201, Disney shares cost $189.51.
Does Disney pay dividends?
Disney has not paid a dividend in the past year.
What is the minimum number of Disney shares that I can buy?
You can buy Disney stock using an online brokerage company or purchase shares directly from the company. Investors can purchase one share or a fractional share using an online brokerage company.
The bottom line
Before purchasing any stock, it’s important to take your short-term and long-term goals into account. You should also assess your overall financial situation to ensure that you can invest without putting yourself in a financial rut. To lower your risk, consider purchasing fractional shares using an online brokerage account like Stash or Robinhood. Remember,
playing the stock market is a gamble and to do your research.