Disney Stock Dips As Management Wins Proxy Fight

Disney stock was lower after management had enough votes to defeat Nelson Petz’s proxy fight.

DIS – Weekly Chart

DIS – Weekly Chart 

DIS stock dipped 0.55% from resistance around the $122 area, which will be important in the price’s following path after a 2024 rally. 

Disney shareholders beat activist investor Nelson Peltz’s effort to win seats on the board of directors. Investors voted to elect all 12 company-backed board members, including CEO Bob Iger. 

The voting results were announced Wednesday at the company’s 2024 virtual meeting of shareholders. Peltz, who leads investment firm Trian Partners, failed to get enough votes alongside the company’s other nominee, Jay Rasulo. 

Peltz’s Trian had been campaigning to change Disney’s board, citing the media company’s stock underperformance over the last several years and its “botched” succession plan, in which Iger’s successor was fired. In response, Disney said its board is already conducting a diligent CEO selection process “led by successful CEOs with recent, highly praised succession experience.” 

Peltz’s defeat is a vote of confidence in Iger and the current board and may raise the prospect of a hostile move for the firm. But there is also the prospect that Peltz will walk away and sell his holdings in the media giant. Iger said last month that the campaign was a distraction for management.  

Disney had asked shareholders to reject Peltz and Rasulo for the board, saying Peltz “brings no media experience and has presented no strategic ideas for Disney”. 

Before the vote, Tesla founder Elon Musk had backed the efforts of Peltz, saying he would buy shares if the investor had been allowed on the board.  

Musk said on X, “He would help reform the company, improve the quality of the product, and generally serve in the best interests of shareholders, as he has done at many other companies. “This would significantly improve Disney’s share price.” 

For now, management’s win could threaten recent stock gains. Some rallies may have been priced based on the belief that new management additions would help stabilise the share price.

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