Walt Disney (DIS) and Netflix (NFLX) stocks are headed for a strong finish to the year. Disney stock has gained 33% YTD (year-to-date), while Netflix stock has risen about 25% YTD. Overall, 2019 has been important for both companies.
In 2019, Disney bulked up its media and studio businesses. The company purchased 21st Century Fox assets. Disney also made its boldest move yet in the direct-to-consumer video market with the Disney+ launch.
For Netflix, 2019 has set the stage for what could be a challenging future for its video streaming business. The company’s pricing strategy also faced serious tests.
Disney stock’s best and worst months
While Disney stock will finish the year on a positive note, April and November were the best months for the stock. The stock gained more than 23% in April and about 17% in November. The April gains came after Disney unveiled Disney+ video service alongside the Disney+ bundle. The November gains followed Disney+’s launch. The service signed up more than 10 million subscribers on the first day, which brought Disney many steps closer to its five-year subscriber target for Disney+.
The downside for Disney stock in 2019 came in September. The stock lost more than 5.0%. In September, the company set out to redeem $4.0 billion of its outstanding notes.
Netflix’s best and worst months in 2019
Netflix stock recorded its biggest gains this year in January and November. The stock gained more than 26.8% in January after the company reported strong subscriber growth for the fourth quarter of 2018. Netflix stock’s gains in November followed early measurements. The measurements showed Nextflix holding its own amid the challenge from Disney+ and CEO Reed Hastings downplaying the competitive threat.
July was the worst month in 2019 for Netflix stock. The stock fell more than 12%. The decline came after Netflix reported disappointing subscriber growth for the second quarter.
Video streaming war to intensify in 2020
While Netflix and Disney stocks have gained in 2019, we’ll have to see what awaits the stocks in 2020. However, the competition between Netflix and Disney will intensify. Netflix wants to defend its turf. The company will continue to invest in content, which should help it stand out. Disney will roll out Disney+ in more countries, which will open more battlefronts with Netflix.