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ESPN Woes Continue to Haunt Disney, ETFs in Focus

The Walt Disney Company 's DIS ESPN network has long been struggling with subscriber decline, owing to a shift toward alternative viewing platforms. Adding to the woes, ESPN saw a decline in viewership for the NFL. In fact, the latest "Monday Night Football" season was said to be one of the worst.

The average viewership for 2016 marked the third successive year of loss of viewers. Per Nielsen data, ESPN's "Monday Night Football" viewership has declined 12% from the previous season.

Disney's ESPN has been dragging down the company's results for some time now. The company fell short of estimates on both the top and the bottom lines in the fiscal fourth quarter. Cable Networks revenues for the quarter were down 7%, which can be blamed on lower advertising and affiliate revenues and higher programming and production costs at ESPN (read: Disney's Upbeat Outlook Overshadows Poor Q4: ETFs in Focus ).

However, the company quelled concerns over lower advertising sales and subscriber losses at the ESPN sports network and hinted at improving growth in fiscal 2017, fiscal 2018 and beyond. The company is striving to boost online ESPN viewers.

Thus, we have highlighted three ETFs with heavy exposure to this giant for investors seeking to bet on the stock along with the broader industry (see: all Consumer Discretionary ETFs here ).

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETFXLY

This product offers exposure to the broad consumer discretionary space by tracking the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index. With an asset base of $10.9 billion, XLY is the largest and most popular ETF in its space. It holds 87 shares in its basket. Walt Disney has an exposure of 6.2% in the fund.

The product trades in a solid volume of 5.3 million shares per day and charges 14 bps in fees. XLY has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read: 5 Top-Ranked Consumer Discretionary ETFs to Buy Now ).

Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF FDIS

This fund tracks the MSCI USA IMI Consumer Discretionary Index and holds a large basket of 376 consumer discretionary equities in the U.S. Walt Disney accounts for 5.4% of the fund's assets. From a sector perspective, Media takes the top spot in the fund with 23.7% of the assets, followed by Specialty Retail (18.6%).

The product has amassed $236.7 million in its asset base and trades in a moderate volume of more than 86,000 shares per day. It charges 8.4 bps in annual fees. FDIS has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 with a Medium risk outlook.

Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF VCR

This ETF follows the MSCI U.S. Investable Market Consumer Discretionary 25/50 Index and holds a large basket of 386 stocks. Walt Disney, at the fourth spot, has an exposure of 4.8% in the fund. As far as sector allocation is concerned, Internet & Direct Marketing Retail takes the top spot in the fund (16.9%), followed by Cable & Satellite (10.3%) and Restaurants (10.1%).

The product has managed to accumulate roughly $2.1 billion in its asset base so far and trades in a moderate volume of nearly 84,000 shares per day. It is very cheap with 10 bps in annual fees. VCR currently carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read: Consumer Confidence Hits 9-Year High: ETF Winners ).

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DISNEY WALT (DIS): Free Stock Analysis Report

SPDR-CONS DISCR (XLY): ETF Research Reports

VIPERS-CONS DIS (VCR): ETF Research Reports

FID-CON DIS (FDIS): ETF Research Reports

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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