Disney Removed From Goldman Sachs List

Times Staff and Wire Services

Goldman Sachs & Co. has reduced Walt Disney Co.'s earnings forecast and taken the entertainment company off its recommended list of stocks amid concerns of a softening advertising market.

Goldman media analyst Richard Simon cut his projections for Disney's 2002 earnings from 95 cents a share to 84 cents. Simon also lowered his rating of Disney to only a "market out-performer."

In a report to investors, Goldman cited concerns about the effect of a softening advertising market on Disney's business. Disney owns the ABC and ESPN television networks.

Disney shares dropped 10 cents to close at $28.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Disney's $135-million World War II epic film "Pearl Harbor" is expected to generate a box office of about $450 million to $500 million. That would mean "Pearl Harbor" would post a profit for Disney, but it won't be as large as Disney had hoped. Simon said the movie "has generally met our expectations."

Media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen of Merrill Lynch & Co. last week lowered her earnings estimate for Disney.

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