Disney Plugs Latest Earnings In Letter To Shareholders


Disney touted its latest financials, a dividend hike and projects around sports, Fortnite and Taylor Swift as it urged stockholders to elect its board candidates at the upcoming annual meeting — not directors nominated by activist investors that it says will gum up the works as management  
“successfully executes a strategic transformation of the company.” 

“Disney’s Board of Directors urges shareholders to protect their investment and the future of the Company by voting the WHITE proxy card for only Disney’s 12 nominees and not the Trian Group or Blackwells nominees at the 2024 annual meeting” to be held virtually on April 3.

Trian is nominating its founder and CEO Nelson Peltz as well as former Disney executive Jay Rasulo to the board. Blackwells has three nominees. The number of directors is fixed at 12. Candidates with the most votes win.

Disney’s card of nominees is white. Trian’s card is blue. Blackwells’ is green.

“The Disney Board of Directors does not endorse the Trian Group nominees, Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo, or the Blackwells nominees, Craig Hatkoff, Jessica Schell and Leah Solivan, and believes that they do not possess the appropriate range of talent, skill, perspective and/or expertise to effectively support the Board’s ongoing efforts to drive profitable growth and shareholder value creation in the face of continuing, industry-wide challenges,” Disney said, repeating its mantra of recent months.

This time, however, it’s got something new to crow about. The stock closed today at over $109, up sharly from $90 at the start of the year.

“On February 7, 2024, we announced very strong results for the first quarter of FY24 – results that demonstrate we have entered a new era at Disney. Today, the Company is building from a renewed position of strength,” the company’s letter to shareholders said.

“Your Board and management team remain committed to driving meaningful growth and creating sustainable shareholder value long into the future. Our strategy is working, as evidenced by our strong financial results and a series of exciting announcements reinforcing the Company’s growth trajectory, including new direct-to-consumer plans from ESPN, a transformative collaboration with and investment in Fortnite’s Epic Games [of $1.5 billion] and significant upcoming content releases, such as a surprise animated sequel to Moana coming to theaters and Taylor Swift’s historic concert film [The Eras Tour], which will stream exclusively on Disney+.”

Disney is also joining with Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox to create a new streaming sports service pooling the rights.

“The stage is now set for significant growth and success,” said CEO Bob Iger.

To help things along, Disney created a new website for shareholders, VoteDisney.com, which includes a video on how to vote, and a  message from CEO Bob Iger.

Disney earnings last week saw profit well above forecasts and narrowed streaming losses as the division prepared to turn profitable in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter.


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