Like Dumbo in his first attempts to fly, Disney stock didn’t exactly soar, but at least they managed to get it off the ground. Shares of Disney closed up nearly 12% today after drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech reported positive results from their COVID-19 vaccine trials.
For Disney fans in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a tale of two cities. Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has been open for months without any significant COVID-19 cases being connected to the park. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, however, has remained shuttered as California Governor Gavin Newsom has continued to keep the state locked down.
The positive news about a vaccine seemed to pique investors’ interest in companies that would benefit from a full reopening of the economy. Travel-heavy stocks from companies like Disney, Hawaiian Holdings, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines all jumped after news of the vaccine success was released.
Disney said in its fiscal third-quarter earnings report that it took a $3.5 billion hit to its operating income from the closures of their parks. The pandemic has already forced Disney to lay off more than 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products divisions.
The fiscal fourth-quarter results from Disney are expected to be released on Thursday after the bell.