Disney stock up despite "Ratatouille" softness

Tue Jul 3, 2007 2:10am EDT

Characters Remy (L) and Linguini are shown in a scene from the new animated film 'Ratatouille,' about a rat who befriends a chef in Paris, in this undated handout photograph. Shares of Walt Disney Co. closed up 1.1 percent on Monday, even though some Wall Street observers said the $47 million opening-weekend haul for ''Ratatouille'' fell below their expectations and might be the latest sign that animated fare is past its prime. REUTERS/Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios/Handout

Characters Remy (L) and Linguini are shown in a scene from the new animated film 'Ratatouille,' about a rat who befriends a chef in Paris, in this undated handout photograph. Shares of Walt Disney Co. closed up 1.1 percent on Monday, even though some Wall Street observers said the $47 million opening-weekend haul for ''Ratatouille'' fell below their expectations and might be the latest sign that animated fare is past its prime.

Credit: Reuters/Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios/Handout

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Shares of Walt Disney Co. closed up 1.1 percent on Monday, even though some Wall Street observers said the $47 million opening-weekend haul for "Ratatouille" fell below their expectations and might be the latest sign that animated fare is past its prime.

Bear Stearns analyst Spencer Wang said he had projected a $50 million tally, with the Street consensus in the $50 million-$60 million range. He added that "Cars" last year grossed $60 million despite worse reviews.

"This is another sign of our long-held thesis that CG (computer-generated) animation has passed its peak given increased competitive output, which has saturated the market, fragmented market share, and may be driving up costs," Wang wrote. "As a result, we still think returns in CG will remain under pressure."

Disney closed at $34.52 on the New York Stock Exchange. During the past 52 weeks, it has traded from $28.69-$36.79. The stock had a weaker second quarter, but Goldman Sachs analyst Anthony Noto recently suggested investors buy it during the summer, a traditionally sluggish period for it.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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