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Disney Stock Plummets 18% in the Last Week – Even Worse Than Overall Market Slide

Surprise CEO transition, coronavirus fears have dragged down Magic Kingdom

Disney, like all media companies, has had a rough week on the Stock Market, as fears about the growing spread of the coronavirus continue to hammer Wall Street. But the Magic Kingdom has been hit harder than most, with its stock falling as much as 18% since last Friday.

Disney’s stock was somewhere in the $140-per-share range last Friday. As of 12:50 p.m. ET today, it’s hovering around $115-per-share.

Disney’s week was even more atypical than most other media companies who are dealing with the fallout of the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, which first began in December. Fears of the virus’ spread have dragged down the market at large, with the S&P down 14% since last Friday, while the Dow has plummeted 15%.

But Disney’s week also featured the surprise announcement that Bob Iger is ending his 15-year run as CEO, handing the reigns to Bob Chapek.

On that day alone, Disney stock dropped almost $5 per share, or nearly 4%, to close at $128.19 per share. Disney announced Iger’s plans at 4 p.m. ET, just as the market closed. Following a call with Disney executives soon after the announcement, Disney’s share price dipped another few bucks in after-hours trading.

On Thursday, Disney announced that both of its Tokyo theme parks would be closed for the next two weeks while the country tries to quell the spread of the disease. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are only the latest of Disney’s Asia theme parks to close in response to coronavirus concerns. Both Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland were closed in January; Disney said in its most recent earnings call that it expects the closures could last up to two months.

As of Friday morning, coronavirus has spread to 83,909 cases and 2,869 deaths worldwide.