Stock certificates capture a snapshot of history incorporating the company’s name, logo, corporate seal, and printed signatures of corporate officers.
This article shows the evolution of The Walt Disney Company stock certificate which is still one of the most sought-after certificates ever!
Note that you can still get a one share ownership and a framed replica stock certificate at GiveAshare.com.
DISNEY BROTHERS CARTOON
It all started as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, a partnership founded in 1923 by Walt Disney and his brother Roy. The name was changed to The Walt Disney Studio in 1926.
In 1928, after some failures and bad luck, Walt Disney came up with the idea of a mouse character named Mortimer while on a train headed to California. Thanks to his wife, Lillian, the mouse was renamed Mickey Mouse and met with success.
WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS,
On December 16, 1929 the Walt Disney Studios partnership was reorganized as a corporation, Walt Disney Productions, Limited. Using profits from the successful Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, they built a new studio on 51 acres in Burbank California in 1939.
The company was privately held until it went public on April 2, 1940 as Walt Disney Productions and was listed on the Over The Counter (OTC) market.
In 1957, the company debuted on the NYSE with an IPO at $13.88 per share.
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Fast forward to 1986 when the company changed its name to The Walt Disney Company as it diversified into other areas. Sometime later, the company changed its stock certificate design as shown below:
Courtesy of GiveAshare.com: The Walt Disney Company stock certificate vignette showing Disney and is most famous characters
The stock certificate was a hit with Wall Street and shareholders! The vignette includes a portrait of Walt Disney himself along with some of his iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, Bambi, Dumbo, Pinocchio, and Donald Duck with Epcot and the Magic Kingdom watermarked in the background.
The Disney stock certificate design remained unchanged for years except for CEO and Corporate Officer name changes as the company did not want to mess with a good thing.
IN OCTOBER 2013, DISNEY ANNOUNCED THEY WOULD NO
LONGER ISSUE PAPER STOCK CERTIFICATES
In October 2013, Disney announced they would no longer issue paper stock certificates effective October 16. It garnered worldwide attention as people all over were rushing to get a Disney stock certificate from websites like GiveAshare.com before the deadline.
This move away from paper stock certificates to electronic registration was in line with an industry-wide effort by the securities industry to save money and speed settlement times. Instead of a stock certificate, an shareholder would get an account statement proving ownership just like a bank statement shows your money in your account.
As it turns out, GiveAshare.com still sells single shares of Disney stock as a gift. The ownership is registered electronically and the company will also provide a personalized replica stock certificate that looks just like the last Disney certificate design (shown below) for the shareholder to proudly display.
As it turns out, the replica stock certificate along with electronic registration is just as popular as the real thing. Kids love the characters and parents/grandparents have a clever way to teach kids about the stock market.
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY COLLECTIBLE SHAREHOLDER
In 2014, Disney introduced The Walt Disney Company Collectible Shareholder Certificate that is something that is only available to shareholders directly from Disney at an additional cost. More info on The Walt Disney Company Collectible Shareholder Certificate.