Investors who owned stocks in the 2010s generally experienced some big gains. In fact, the SPDR S&P 500’s (NYSE: SPY) total return since Aug. 31, 2009 is 327.9%.
On that day in history, Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) announced a massive $4 billion buyout of Marvel Entertainment, which remains one of its largest acquisitions to date.
Marvel Buyout: Investors see Disney’s Disney+ streaming platform as one of the biggest reasons to own the stock in the decade ahead. However, Disney+ would be nothing without content, and Marvel content has been some of Disney’s most profitable and popular content of the past decade.
At a $4 billion price tag, Disney certainly paid a hefty price for Marvel. But under Disney’s ownership, Marvel’s valuation has expanded to an estimated $19 billion in the 11 years since the buyout.
At the time the Marvel deal was announced, Disney shares were trading at around $26 back in mid-2009.
Disney was in the early years of fending off streaming competition from upstart Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), but Disney was still roughly a decade away from launching its own streaming service.
Three years after the Marvel deal in 2012, Disney announced a $4 billion buyout of Lucasfilm, the owner of the Star Wars franchise. Disney closed the 2010s with one final major acquisition, its largest one of the decade. Following a bidding war with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Disney acquired the majority of 21st Century Fox’s TV and movie assets in 2019 for a whopping price tag of $71.3 billion.
Disney’s Marvel content has been a huge reason why Disney+ is off to such a strong start in its first year. As of Aug. 3, Disney+ had 60.5 million paid subscribers, up from 33.5 million as of March 28.
Following the Marvel deal in 2009, Disney shares marched steadily higher, reaching $122 by mid-2015. After nearly four years of trading between around $90 and $120, Disney broke out to new all-time highs in early 2019 ahead of the Disney+ launch. Disney reached its decade high of $153.41 in November just after the launch.
Disney In 2020, Beyond: After dipping as low as $79.07 in March 2020, Disney shares have since made it back up to around $140.
Investors who bought $1,000 of Disney stock on the day the Marvel deal was announced back in 2009 would now be holding a stake worth $5,682, assuming reinvested dividends.
Looking ahead, analysts are expecting some consolidation from Disney in the next 12 months. The average price target among the 22 analysts covering the stock is $140, suggesting 0.1% downside from current levels.