The Walt Disney Co. switched from paper to electronic stocks. (AP)
Disney’s paper stock certificates have headed off to Never Never Land.
The stock certificates, with images of Mickey Mouse, Dumbo and Tinker Bell on them, have long been collector’s items and a fixture in many children’s bedrooms. They are a popular gift among parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts who want to teach kids about the stock market.
But The Walt Disney Co. stopped issuing the paper stock certificates to shareholders on Wednesday.
It’s sad news for collectors who covet everything Disney. But it’s not shocking to those who watch the stock market. U.S. companies have been switching to electronic stocks from paper ones for years in order to cut costs.
Still, the news came as a surprise to Rick Roman. “We thought Disney would be one of the last ones to make that shift,” said Roman, who owns GiveAShare.com, a website that sells stock certificates.
The Disney certificate has been the company’s best-seller since he founded GiveAShare in 2002. “It’s the best-looking one around,” Roman said. “It appeals to kids.” In the center of the certificate is a black-and-white picture of a smiling Walt Disney, the media company’s founder. He is surrounded by colorful drawings of Donald Duck, Pinocchio, Bambi and other well-known Disney characters.
GiveAShare sells the stock in a black frame for $146. A Disney share on the New York Stock Exchange was worth nearly $64 in recent trading.
Sales of the Disney certificate have jumped since the news broke late Tuesday, Roman said.
Bob Kerstein, founder of Scripophily.com, which buys and sells collectable stock certificates, expects the Disney certificates to become collectibles.