Walt Disney (DIS) has not been the greatest stock over the last year, points out Chuck Carlson, dividend reinvestment specialist and editor of DRIP Investor.

Indeed, shares of the entertainment giant are down roughly 18% over the last 12 months, underperforming the 12% return in the S&P 500. And Disney was the worst-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2021.

Investors were disappointed with a growth slowdown in its streaming service. And Covid had taken a big toll on the company’s theme parks. Bottom line — Disney had become a classic “show-me” stock with investors.

Well, the company did a good job of “showing” investors in the most recent quarter. Indeed, the firm posted per-share profits of $1.06, well above the analysts’ estimate of $0.63. Theme-park business was especially strong, with domestic theme parks and resorts posting record revenue and operating income.

The firm added 11.8 million Disney+ subscribers in the quarter, beating expectations. The company reaffirmed its target of reaching 230 million to 260 million Disney+ sub- scribers by the end of fiscal 2024.

To be sure, while Disney stock bounced on the news, these shares are still trading 25% off their 52-week high of $203. While this quarter’s results were solid, Wall Street will probably need to see another quarter or two of strong results before returning to these shares in full force. Still, I like what I’m seeing so far and expect Disney to post market-beating returns for 2022.

Please note Disney offers a direct purchase plan whereby any investor may buy the first share and every share directly from the company. Minimum initial investment is $200, though Disney will waive the minimum if an investor agrees to automatic monthly investment via electronic debit of a bank account of at least $50. The plan administrator is Computershare. For enrollment information call (855) 553-4763 or visit computershare.com.

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