Grumpy Shareholder Targets “Happiest Place On Earth”

As Disney looks to court investors back to the “Happiest Place On Earth,” it’s facing a new challenge — activist investor Nelson Peltz. 🫢

Trian Fund Management is Peltz’s activist investor firm, founded in 2005. The firm’s website describes itself as “a highly engaged shareholder, bringing a private equity mindset to the public markets.” And this isn’t its first time butting heads with Disney’s management.

The fund first took issue with management during its 2019 acquisition of Fox. And its attitude hasn’t changed since. Recently Peltz has stated that“Fox hurt this company. Fox took the dividend away. Fox turned what was once a pristine balance sheet into a mess.”

But like most activist investors, he didn’t stop at talking. ⚔️

In recent months the firm has accumulated roughly 9.4 million shares of Disney, worth $900 million. Since early December, it’s been pushing for a board seat to access internal numbers and identify opportunities the company is missing. 🕵️

Ultimately, Peltz believes the company “has lost its way, resulting in a rapid deterioration in its financial performance.”

However, Disney is actively opposing Peltz’s attempt to join the board. This week the board appointed Mark Parker, the executive chairman of Nike, as its next chairman. It hoped the move could help avoid a drawn-out proxy battle, but Peltz isn’t backing down that easily. 🛡️

$DIS shares have recently rebounded with the broader market but remain 50% off their all-time highs set in 2021. Whether or not Peltz succeeds, it appears the additional pressure on management is a welcome sign from other shareholders.

Party In The USA (Bankruptcy Courts)

Yesterday we heard that Bed Bath and Beyond is concerned about its future. And today, another struggling retailer joined the mix, expressing concerns of its own. ⚠️

Party City announced today that it’s preparing to file for bankruptcy within weeks. Like Bed Bath & Beyond, it’s burned through its cash trying to turn the company around. However, sales have remained weak and pressured by inflation and the softening economy.

Read It

Another Stock On Hindenburg’s Chopping Block

Short seller Hindenburg Research has found its next target, Jack Dorsey’s Block. 🎯

After completing a two-year investigation into its Cash App business practices, the infamous short-selling firm confirmed Block as its latest short position.

Read It

Auto Industry News

Auto stocks continue to trend heavily after last week’s earnings report from Tesla. As a result, there was a lot of auto news to recap today. 📰

First up, Toyota Motors managed to defend its title as the world’s top-selling automaker for the third straight year…despite falling sales. The company sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2022, with Volkswagen Group behind it at 8.3 million vehicles. 🏆

Read It

Retailers’ Rocky Start To ’23

As companies and investors alike shake off their holiday slumber, the time for results has come. Earnings season is kicking off on Friday with the banks, but in the meantime, several retailers have already preannounced that their holiday quarter didn’t go as well as they had hoped. 👎

Kicking off the weakness was Lululemon, which told investors at the ICR conference that its Q4 net revenue will be between $2..66 to $2.70 billion. This was marginally higher than its previous guidance, but its higher earnings per share range of $4.22 to $4.27 missed expectations.

Read It