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The markets have seen a significant sell-off, with the S&P 500 declining by about 25% since March 9th, driven by the growing number of Coronavirus cases in countries outside of China, which is causing mounting concerns that the world could be headed into recession.
Comcast saw its stock price fall by over 15% over the last 11 trading sessions, (between March 9, and March 23), and by 21% since early February, underperforming the broader markets. Drawing lessons from the 2008 financial crisis, we see Comcast's stock declined from levels of around $10 in October 2007 (the pre-crisis peak) to levels of around $5 in March 2009 (as the markets bottomed out), implying Comcast's stock lost as much as 46% from its approximate pre-crisis peak. This marked a lower drop than the broader S&P, which fell by as much as 51%
.While lower economic growth and consumer spending could affect demand for the company's already lower cable TV offerings, the expected launch of Peacock (Comcast's streaming platform) and people confining themselves to their home due to the spread of coronavirus, is likely to prove beneficial for the company. More people sitting at home could amount to higher demand for streaming services and entertainment. This is likely to be partially offset by lower consumer spending power. Thus, the decline in Comcast's stock price is lower than the decline in the broader market. Also, going by the trends seen during the 2008 economic slowdown, it's likely that Comcast's stock could bounce back strongly but potentially underperform the market as the crisis winds down, as the stock decline was not as great as that of the market in the first place. In this analysis, we take a look at how the company’s stock reacted to the economic crisis of 2008 and compare its performance with the S&P 500.
2020 Coronavirus/ Oil Price War Crisis
Timeline of 2020 Crisis So Far
12/12/2019: Coronavirus cases first reported in China.1/31/2020: WHO declares global health emergency.2/3/2020 to 3/23/2020: S&P 500 sees ~30% drop as Coronavirus cases accelerated outside China during March 2020. It also doesn't help that oil prices have crashed by close to 50% over the last month, amid Saudi-led price war.
Comcast Performance During 2020 Coronavirus/Oil Price War CrisisComcast's stock declined by over 15% between Friday March 9, 2020, and March 23, 2020, and the stock is down by 21% since February 1, after the WHO declared a global health emergency.
CMCSA Stock: Key Values During 2020 Crisis
% Change for Key Dates: 2020 Crisis
S&P 500 Index Performance During 2020 Coronavirus/Oil Price War CrisisThe S&P 500 declined by 25% between March 9, 2020 and March 20, 2020 and it has fallen by 33% since February 1.
S&P 500 Index: Key Values During 2020 Crisis
% Change for Key Dates: 2020 Crisis
2007-08 Financial Crisis
Timeline of 2007-08 Crisis
10/1/2007: Approximate pre-crisis peak in S&P 500 index9/1/2008 - 10/1/2008: Accelerated market decline corresponding to Lehman bankruptcy filing (9/15/08)3/1/2009 - Approximate bottoming out of S&P 500 index1/1/2010 - Initial recovery to levels before accelerated decline (around 9/1/2008)
Comcast Stock Performance Over 2007-08 Financial Crisis
Comcast stock declined from levels of around $10 in October 2007 (the pre-crisis peak) to $5 in March 2009 (as the markets bottomed out) and recovered to levels of about $7 in early 2010.Through the crisis,
Comcast stock declined about 46% from its approximate pre-crisis peak. This marked a decline that was less than the S&P, which fell by as much as 51%.CMCSA stock saw a reasonable recovery from its lows, rising by 31% between March 2009 and January 2010. The growth was much lower than the S&P, which rose by about 48% over the same period.
CMCSA Stock: Key Values During 2007-08 Crisis
% Change for Key Dates: 2007-08 Crisis
CMCSA Stock: Cumulative % Change from 10/1/2007
It will recover - however, a final check: Can Comcast in fact stay solvent through the Coronavirus crisis?
Are cash from operations going to cover interest expense and investments needed?
As of December 2019, the company's interest coverage ratio stood at 4.6x, which is assessed to be at an average level in such a challenging environment. Also, the company has a fair leverage (Debt/EBITDA) ratio of 3.0x, with $9.2 billion of undrawn revolving credit facility until 2022, which will help it to remain solvent in the current circumstances.
CMCSA Interest Expense
CMCSA Cash from Investments (-ve is Cash Used)
CMCSA Cash from operations
While Comcast's stock has declined due to the Coronavirus/Oil Price War crisis, going by trends seen during the 2008 slowdown, it's likely that it could bounce back at a reasonable rate, but potentially underperform as the crisis winds down. Based on 2008 crisis comparison, Comcast's stock could potentially see an upside of 20% post the current crisis.
Comcast2008 vs. 2020 Crisis Comparison: How Did AT&T Stock Fare During Coronavirus Crisis Compared to S&P 500?Forecasting US COVID-19 cases with cross-country comparisons-28% Coronavirus crash vs 4 Historic crashes Coronavirus impact and timing analyses