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Disney stock hits 10-year high

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A trio of favorable analyst reports propelled shares in Walt Disney Co. to a 10-year high Wednesday.

Excitement about Disney’s theme parks and cable networks were a motivating factors behind some of the reports. Goldman Sachs added Disney to its ‘conviction buy’ list Tuesday, and Morgan Stanley and Caris & Co. increased their earnings estimates for the company’s fiscal first quarter, which ended in December.

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Goldman Sachs analyst James Mitchell wrote that the theme parks are rebounding from a period of no growth, thanks to renewed consumer spending. The addition of a pair of new cruise ships to the Disney line -- the first of which, the Disney Dream, makes its maiden voyage Jan. 26 -- will also improve revenue and margins, he predicted. The fourth vessel launches in 2012.

The revenue picture is also improving with the cable networks group, which includes ESPN and the Disney Channel, Goldman wrote.

Trading in Disney stock flirted with $40 on Wednesday before closing up 97 cents, or 2.5%, at $39.96.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski


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