CEO Bob Iger Slashes Disney Stake by 80%

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger
Kimberly White / Getty Images

Investors can learn much by paying attention to how corporate insiders handle positions in their own companies. People may sell shares for various reasons (including buying a house, paying for college, or getting ready for retirement). Generally, they buy for just one reason: they expect to make more money.

Often, one of the largest and best-informed shareholders in any company is the chief executive officer. Let’s see whether Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) CEO Robert Iger has been increasing or decreasing his shares over the past year and whether he knows something we don’t.

What You Need to Know About Disney

Disney World
Source: raymundopelayo / Flickr
What to know about Disney

The Walt Disney Company operates as an entertainment company worldwide. It produces and distributes film and television video streaming content under the ABC Television Network, Disney, Freeform, FX, Fox, National Geographic, and Star brand television channels, as well as ABC television stations and A+E television networks. The company produces original content under the ABC Signature, Disney Branded Television, FX Productions, Lucasfilm, Marvel, National Geographic Studios, Pixar, Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Studios, 20th Television, and Walt Disney Pictures banners. It offers direct-to-consumer streaming services through Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar, Hulu, and Star+; sports-related entertainment services through ESPN, ESPN on ABC, ESPN+ DTC, and Star; sale/licensing of film and episodic content to third-party television and VOD services; theatrical, home entertainment, and music distribution services; DVD and Blu-ray discs, electronic home video licenses, and VOD rental services; staging and licensing of live entertainment events; and post-production services.

In addition, the company operates theme parks and resorts, comprising Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, National Geographic Expeditions, and Adventures by Disney, as well as Aulani, a Disney resort and spa in Hawaii. It also licenses its intellectual property to a third party for operations of the Tokyo Disney Resort.

Disney licenses trade names, characters, visual, literary, and other IP for use on merchandise, published materials, and games; operates a direct-to-home satellite distribution platform; sells branded merchandise through retail, online, and wholesale businesses; and develops and publishes books, comic books, and magazines.

The company was founded in 1923 and is based in Burbank, California. Competitors of Disney include Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX), Sony Group Corp. (NYSE: SONY), and Warner Bros Discovery Inc. (NASDAQ: WBD). Iger became CEO in 2005 and served until 2020. He took up the reins again in late 2022.

The company posted over $88.9 billion in revenue and has a market capitalization near $197.5 billion. The stock is up about 5.5% from a year ago, despite being in the red for much of the latter half of last year. The S&P 500 is 24% or so higher in the past year. Disney shares recently hit a 52-week high of $112.92 apiece, and they are up about 19.2% year to date. (Where Disney’s stock price will be in 2030: bull, base, and bear forecasts.)

How the CEO of Disney Is Trading

Source: Bet_Noire / Getty Images
Buying or selling?

One year ago, Iger owned around a million shares, worth over $97.2 million. On last look, he owned less than 187,000 shares, a decline of about 844,00 or so shares. The value of the stake plunged around 80.2% to more than $19.2 million.

Shares a Year Ago Shares Today % Change
1,030,898 186,874 −81.87%

The question that may be foremost in many investors’ minds is whether CEO Bob Iger is preparing to pack it in and let someone else take up the reins of reviving Disney. But of course, as mentioned, insiders sell shares for a variety of reasons. Time may tell what Iger is thinking or whether he knows something we don’t.

Meanwhile, the company reported better than expected quarterly earnings earlier this month, and management appears to be turning its attention to streaming sports and to video games. The stock is still popular with institutional investors, and analysts have a cautious consensus Buy recommendation, though their current mean price target is a little less than the recent share price.

Another internal shareholder to watch is former Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy. Her stake was worth almost $17.5 million on last look. Executive Vice President Brent Woodford has a stake worth less than $3.3 million. Note that Woodford sold some shares this month and in December.


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