One year ago, investors took a grim view of legacy media companies. The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic was coming into focus: Theme parks and movie theaters were shuttered, sporting events were canceled, and TV and film production ground to a halt. Wall Street responded by bludgeoning shares of traditional media, including Walt Disney Co., ViacomCBS Inc. and Discovery Inc.
One year later, these stocks have not only regained their value, they have soared to stratospheric heights.
On Wednesday, Disney stock closed at $195.06 — an extraordinary rebound from a year ago when its shares traded around $85. Since March 23, 2020, Disney’s market value has increased nearly $200 billion. The Burbank entertainment behemoth now is worth $354 billion.
ViacomCBS, Discovery, Comcast Corp., Fox Corp. and AMC Networks Inc. also have benefited despite ongoing challenges, including consumer cord-cutting that has dimmed the prospects of their cash-cow cable TV channels.
There are several reasons for the boom, including the stock market’s overall strength and the reopening of an economy that has forced the shutdown of theaters, productions and live […]