Bid For Disney Too Low, Some Analysts Say

Mergers haven't always worked out, though, as was shown by the breakup of the AOL-Time Warner marriage. However, the CBS-Viacom and News Corp.-DirecTV matches have been seen as successes.

Comcast President Steve Burke, a former Disney executive, identified animation as a key issue to be addressed and said if the merger went through, the new giant would reach out to companies like Pixar. Comcast wants to "do everything we can to empower the existing [Disney] animation group," he said.

Talks between Disney and Pixar recently ended, with Pixar saying it would find another partner after delivering two more films on its contract to Disney.

Burke also said there would be savings of $300 million to $400 million by eliminating overlapping elements in the two companies. "This would not affect the vast majority of employees," he added.

Comcast proposed to issue 0.78 of a share for each share of Disney stock, and Disney shareholders would hold 42 percent of the combined company.

Analysts' responses to the proposal were mixed.

David Miller, an analyst who covers Disney and other media companies for Sanders, Miller and Harris in Los Angeles, said that in terms of what the two companies do, the deal could be advantageous for both sides if it went through.

"Strategically this makes perfect sense for a studio operator to merge with a cable distributor," he said. "It is about content merging with distribution. There is not much overlap, which is good for employees."

At the same time, Comcast will have to make its case for managing such a diverse company, Wolzien said. "They don't really have a record at all of running a conglomerate like a Disney or a Viacom or a Time Warner … the jury is out on whether they can do it or not."

Roberts pointed to Comcast's merger last November with AT&T Broadband — as well as the success of News Corp.'s merger with DirecTV and the merger of CBS and Viacom — as an example of how the proposal could be beneficial for Disney.

"Our management team has a proven track record of successful integration of our merger partners," Roberts said.

Comcast Wednesday reported a profit of $383 million, or 17 cents per share, for the quarter ending Dec. 31. The company credited the strong demand for its digital cable and high-speed Internet services. Revenues jumped 58 percent to $4.74 billion.

But Comcast stock dropped 8.62 percent Wednesday to close at $30.10.

Disney is the parent company of

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