Ah, the joys of the content publication stream! During the time that this story about potential entertainment stocks jumping higher due to consumers wanting out of novel coronavirus-related restrictions was initially researched, the omicron variant dominated headlines. But recently, infectious disease experts identified a new variant in France. Are we on the verge of yet another outbreak?
While no one can say for certain the dangers this latest discovered variant poses, some experts suggest there isn’t much cause for concern, namely because it hasn’t spread widely despite the time to do so. If this is a false alarm, then the upside thesis for entertainment stocks could be back on. But even if the new variant was something to be concerned about, American consumers may have already had enough.
Though it’s difficult to make a sweeping pronouncement about the public given that we’re not a monolith, perhaps the most damning form of evidence is President Joe Biden’s approval rating. Despite the Biden administration taking Covid-19 seriously, the issue may be he’s taking it too seriously, with his disapproval rating hitting a fresh high. On the other hand, if you wanted to speculate on entertainment stocks, this present juncture appears compelling.
As multiple publications have noted, even as the omicron variant started spreading, Americans had already become frustrated. What’s more, efforts to impose additional restrictions will probably fail — or at the very least meet significant resistance. Besides, with a popularity rating this low, President Biden and the Democrats will struggle creating partnerships with independents. However, the chaos bodes well for entertainment stocks.
On balance, it seems that well-meaning politicians have little choice but to give the people what they want: fewer mitigation protocols and open access to all categories of business. Therefore, it might be time to start thinking about positioning yourself in entertainment stocks. With that in mind, these names stand out.
- Disney (NYSE:DIS)
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
- Six Flags Entertainment (NYSE:SIX)
- SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS)
- Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN)
- MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM)
- Drive Shack (NYSE:DS)
Another news item that I didn’t have access to during the initial research period was the huge market selloff in the midweek session. With the Federal Reserve signaling deep concerns about soaring inflation in its December meeting minutes, it could adopt a very hawkish monetary policy. That might send jitters to everything including entertainment stocks. Thus, your due diligence is especially important right now.
Entertainment Stocks to Buy: Disney (DIS)
For the first idea regarding entertainment stocks to buy, I’m going to go with a nuanced angle with Disney. So to be clear, I do not encourage a heavy buy-in position at this moment. Heading into the start of the Jan. 6 session, DIS stock is struggling around its 50-day moving average (DMA), which is trending noticeably below the 200 DMA.
That’s often a signal of near-term weakness. And with the poor technical posture of the equity unit, I have a gut feeling it’s going to correct. Perhaps it’s due to jitters regarding the Fed or some other negative catalyst. Either way, it’s important to not fight against what appears to be an obviously bearish signal.
But should we get a sizable correction on DIS stock, I wouldn’t think too hard about scooping up the discount. Disney has easily become one of the most relevant entertainment stocks thanks to its compelling mix of popular theme parks and resorts, along with its burgeoning Disney+ streaming channel. Once Covid-19 really starts fading into the rearview mirror, DIS stock will shine.
Again, just wait a bit before making a heavy commitment.
Comcast is another big player among entertainment stocks that you may consider buying but not right at this moment. As with its rival Disney, CMCSA stock features a questionable technical profile. Over the trailing six months, the equity unit shed more than 13%.
Interestingly, CMCSA stock also finds itself struggling against its 50 DMA, which is a common gauge of near-term market health. Further, this signal is beneath the 200 DMA, boding poorly for the interim. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the stock eventually dropped another 10% from this angle. But if it does, I’d considering scooping up the discount.
Due to the unusual dynamics of the Covid-19 crisis, theme park attendance suffered significantly during last year’s holiday season. Vaccination rules along with negative test results may have negatively affected parks and resorts in restrictive jurisdictions. As well, the introduction of the omicron variant didn’t help.
However, these are likely temporary headwinds that nevertheless are apparently causing stakeholders to dump out due to possible fears of further declines. Let their self-fulfilling prophesy be your opportunity to gather blue-chip entertainment stocks on the cheap.
Entertainment Stocks to Buy: Six Flags Entertainment (SIX)
Unlike the above two entertainment stocks, Six Flags Entertainment has a much more palatable technical profile. For example, over the trailing six months, SIX stock is up about 4%. Therefore, it has struggled amid the broader impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it’s maintained a neutral to slightly positive trajectory during the second half of 2021.
Moving forward, though, it’s well within reason that Six Flags could enjoy a much more decisively positive trajectory. That’s mainly because the urgency of the global health crisis may fade, according to many epidemiologists. As Covid-19 becomes endemic and settles into a lower-risk pattern like the flu or common cold, the need for excessive, economically punitive mitigation measures should decline. Obviously, that would be golden for entertainment stocks.
Another factor to consider is that SIX stock is a pure-play investment in theme parks. It’s not encumbered by myriad other (disparate) businesses. Six Flags isn’t trying to sell a high-speed internet package nor a streaming channel. While that means it won’t be able to advantage other business opportunities, once society normalizes, SIX stock could be a huge winner.
SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS)
Although entertainment stocks tied to high-contact businesses have had an eventful year in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic and its resultant mitigatory responses, SeaWorld Entertainment has gone against the grain. Over the trailing year, SEAS stock has almost exactly doubled in price. And in the past half-year period, shares have swung higher by almost 40%.
Now, it did take a hit during the Jan. 5 session. But a 1.6% loss hasn’t disrupted its overall bullish profile. As of this writing, SEAS stock trades above its 50 DMA (at $64.82) and its 200 DMA (at $55.44). That’s an indication that unless you see a negative catalyst over the horizon, SEAS stock should continue to move along its present trajectory.
Part of the reason for SeaWorld’s success where other entertainment stocks may have stumbled is the obvious educational angle. Whereas the academic value of talking mice is questionable to say the least, SeaWorld organically combines education with entertainment, which is incredibly valuable for teachers, especially as research indicates young students are falling behind due to the pandemic.
Overall, you might not get rich with SEAS stock. But this is a solid idea to consider if entertainment stocks is your thing.
Entertainment Stocks to Buy: Cedar Fair (FUN)
As a lifelong west coaster, I’m not familiar with Cedar Fair’s offering outside of Knott’s Berry Farm. But because of Covid-19, that’s a good thing, actually. Let me explain.
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, California is one of the most restrictive states regarding coronavirus mitigation protocols. Only three other states and the District of Columbia have tighter restrictions, which means companies whose businesses aren’t entirely allocated to places like California, Hawaii, Vermont and Virginia may fare better.
And so far, the results have proven as such for Cedar Fair, whose theme parks are mainly situated in Ohio. I mean, Ohio has restrictions don’t get me wrong but it’s more on the conservative side of the spectrum. Furthermore, FUN stock has been one of the more credible entertainment stocks, up over 8% during the trailing six months and up 2.5% in the trailing 30-day period.
Therefore, Cedar Fair should enjoy revenue predictability moving forward. And once the pandemic starts to fade out, thus relaxing restrictions on key markets like California, FUN stock may be able to flick on the afterburners.
MGM Resorts (MGM)
Back when the Covid-19 crisis first capsized our society, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach for MGM Resorts and the entire Las Vegas industry. It’s something to laugh about now (and I think that ability to do so is something we should be grateful for) but at the time, it was no joke.
I think we all remember those images of the Strip completely devoid of people. Frankly, anyone could have filmed those streets as part of a backdrop of a zombie film without having to go through all the hassles and permits involved. Surreal would be putting the situation lightly.
Now, it’s a completely opposite effect. Thanks to the concept of retail revenge, where people aggressively open their wallets to make up for a lost year, folks are especially gravitating toward social experiences. That bodes well for MGM stock and I’m not just saying that. Over the trailing year, MGM has gained almost 43% and it still retains a positive profile in recent months.
Furthermore, Las Vegas’ close proximity to extremely restrictive Californian jurisdictions could easily draw in a crowd that’s clearly tired of pandemic-fueled guidelines. That bodes well for MGM in the near and long term.
Entertainment Stocks to Buy: Drive Shack (DS)
In the news agency, there’s a pejorative aphorism that states, if it bleeds, it leads. In other words, people like their news to be titillating and scandalous. At the same time, so many folks complain about eroding lack of journalistic integrity. Well, the general public can’t have it both ways. Overwhelmingly, people want titillation and as a matter of business survival, the mainstream media delivers.
In my specific side of content idea dissemination, if it’s speculative, it’s informative. You should absolutely not invest in crazy ideas with money you cannot afford to lose. But overwhelmingly, people want, no demand the crazy so let’s just satisfy that need right now with Drive Shack.
Pre-pandemic, I think the concept of Drive Shack — a golfing range and entertainment center catering to corporate get-togethers — made a lot of sense. Post-pandemic, not so much. And the market confirms the same, with DS stock down 52% in the trailing six months. Wow.
So, why go with DS stock? Well, first of all, you probably shouldn’t. However, if the mass work-from-home experiment doesn’t become permanent (you know, because many people goof off when telecommuting), the experiment could end. That could make DS stock one of the surprising entertainment stocks ever. But just be careful with this one, please.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.