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New York Markets After Hours

April 7, 2020, 5:28 p.m. EDT

Disney downgraded as analyst says parks attendance could take 2 years to 'normalize'

Walt Disney Co.'s stock (NYS:DIS) fell 1.2% in after-hours trading Tuesday after Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall downgraded the stock to equal weight from overweight, writing of concerns about the company's parks business. "We don't think Parks can get back to anything close to full capacity until testing and/or vaccines are far more ubiquitous," he wrote, and in his view, that means it could be 24 months before parks attendance normalizes. "We see the limiting factor as health-care technology as assets like Walt Disney World will either need to operate with social distancing in-place - significantly limiting capacity - or a vaccine will need to be widely enough available that the population will again feel safe in such a gathering," Cahall said. He argued that absent a health-care breakthrough, early reads from countries like Singapore, China, and South Korea indicate that social-distancing measures must remain to some extent even as countries get their COVID-19 outbreaks under control. Cahall lowered his price target to $107 from $155 in conjunction with the downgrade. Disney shares have lost 30% so far this year as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) has fallen 21%.

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