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Shares of Walt Disney (DIS) came under pressure, closing 4.2% lower on Tuesday, after the company provided Q4 estimates for its global paid subscribers. Its numbers failed to impress investors.

Speaking at Goldman Sachs’ annual Communacopia conference, Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that the company’s global paid subscribers would increase by “low single-digit millions” in Q4, compared to Q3.

This compares unfavorably with the prior quarter. Notably, Disney added 14.7 million global paid subscribers in Q3. Chapek cited COVID-19 induced production delays and the annual expiration of many subscriptions in India as the reasons behind the moderation in subscriber growth.

Nevertheless, Chapek remains confident about the long-term subscriber growth. Moreover, he expects the momentum in the core market to sustain, with steady growth in subscribers both in the domestic and international segments. Furthermore, he expects to reclaim all the subscribers in India.

In response to Disney’s Q4 subscriber growth guidance, Brandon Nispel of KeyBanc termed it as “a very modest incremental negative.” Nispel remained upbeat over the long-term subscriber growth and maintained a Buy rating with a price target of $225 (31.5% upside potential).


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