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The Walt Disney Company
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Trian Fund Management, L.P.
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to The Walt Disney Company; from time to time Trian or its fellow
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replaced with “DIS.”
Andrew Ross Sorkin: What kind of success do you think Nelson
Peltz is going to have here? And clearly Bob Iger and the rest of
the board you know, are giving him the Heisman.
Dan Primack: Yeah I mean right now this seems like a little
bit of an ego clash right. You’ve got Iger who, you know in the
past apparently once invited Peltz to speak to him and kind of talk
to the board, long before he had a stake in Disney when Iger was in
charge. You got Iger who seems to kind of be bristling, that helps
once in kind of saying, hey, I’m making the changes leave me alone.
Then you have Peltz in his Trian response yesterday, I guess,
[unintelligible] statement, talking about how he was kind of pushed
off and he was given as you say, the Heisman you know, Iger
wouldn’t talk to him yet because he was sailing his yacht off the
coast of New Zealand. So right now, I think you have an ego clash
and these two sides just have to get together and put this behind
them because Disney has too big of problems to have this be the
Andrew Ross Sorkin: Is this just about an ego clash? And I’m
gonna do a little armchair psychoanalysis of what I think Bob Iger
is doing as a CEO of Disney, I think, which is he’s come back to
this company, I think because he loves the company and is trying to
set this company up, not for the next two years or four years or
five years but like a decade. I mean, I think this is about, for
him at this point, it’s a legacy situation, which I think is
actually a different goal, to some degree than what Nelson may be
after, in the shorter term. I know I’m sure Nelson would bristle at
the idea that he’s short term and some of Bob Iger’s long term, but
I think, you know, historically, an activist investor gets in and
there is an exit, whereas I think that there’s something else going
on at Disney right now. Am I wrong?
Primack: No, I, by the way, I think you’re right about that.
But I think if these two guys were in a room Peltz’s response would
be: you had a lot of time to set up your legacy, you left and then
you had to come right back because it apparently didn’t work last
time. So let me have a seat at the table to help you maybe realize
that vision of legacy and look, I being Trian, if we make some
money in four or five years in the short term, you know, good for
Andrew Ross Sorkin: You know, one of the things you hear
inside of the Disney universe, they go ugh, you know, what does
Nelson Peltz know about the media business? What do you think of
Primack: I don’t think they’re wrong necessarily. He doesn’t
have a huge amount of experience in the media business. But the
reality is, you know, he’s been—and this is true of a lot of
activists but this is true of Peltz—he doesn’t necessarily have one
lane. You know, he’s not just tech or consumer products. He’s been
in a variety of these different places. And he’ll, he’ll basically
look at it and say, you know what, the things that I want to do—the
things Nelson Peltz wants to do—a lot of it is about structure. A
lot of it is just about deciding which business lines are working
and which aren’t and kind of streamlining some back end things. And
again, Iger and Disney will look at this and say, we’re doing a
bunch of this stuff, leave us alone. And Peltz’s response is you’ve
got an open board seat. You’re not going to control the company.
I’m not asking to become CEO, just let me sit there and be an
advisor, a board member slash advisor, like I’ve been to other
companies, because I can help you grow. I can adapt to media, like
I can adapt other things.
Andrew Ross Sorkin: And it sounds like, we gotta run, but it
sounds like your bet is they put him on the board or you’re arguing
they should put him on the board?
Primack: I’m not arguing they should or shouldn’t, my argument
is they will, and maybe they should just because this is a giant
distraction, headache. And Disney’s got a lot of challenges and
it’s just not something they need to be spending time on right
Andrew Ross Sorkin: It is a longer debate and hope we can
have it, Dan, it’s great to see you have a great weekend.
Dan Primack: You too.
Cramer: Another day another softer economic number, another
step close to the Fed no longer being your enemy. Enter this cooler
than expected Consumer Price Index reading we got at 8:30am. It’s
now clear that Jay Powell, the Fed Chief, is actually winning the
war on inflation, which is why the Dow jumped 217 points today,
S&P gained 0.34%, and the NASDAQ advanced another 0.64%! That
was on the sixth straight month of better inflation numbers. So on
the eve of earnings season, we can stop worrying about the big
picture and talk about what makes individual stocks go higher. Why
don’t we start with the basics? Tomorrow we’ll hear from most of
the big banks, they’ll unleash a slew of numbers. Most of them will
be actually irrelevant to the stocks, but not all of them. What do
we care about? Loan growth, defaults, how much money they’re making
off your deposits—they’re paying you nothing, they’re getting 3,
We’ll see a set of headline numbers, the earnings, the revenues,
forecasts, it’ll look simple but it’s never simple with the banks.
And their numbers are often impacted by an amalgam of one-time
considerations, which throws off our ability to make clean
apples-to-apples comparisons with the analyst assessments.
most of the time the bank stocks instantly go higher, or at least
most banks stocks and then we listen to conference call, the tone,
the refinement of the forecast, the question-answers. And then what
happens, they give up their gains. Probably happen again tomorrow.
We’ll also be hearing from BlackRock’s Larry Fink. Now he’s the man
behind the biggest asset gatherer in the world. He is a Titan and a
great advocate of your rights, shareholders’ rights, shareholder
democracy, and that’s something I’m gonna be talking about with him
tomorrow on Squawk on the Street.
brings me to what I really want to talk about tonight. Oh, I can
give you a couple of NASDAQ stocks that are up, everyone knows how
to do that right. Oh, hey, look at that semiconductor. No, I want
to do a little more. I feel like doing a little more tonight. I
want to talk about democracy in the case of The Walt Disney
let me tell you, like anyone who bought Disney last year, I would
say I’m plenty upset. And this is for my charitable trust. We’ve
lost a lot of money on a situation that I felt very bullish about
and I was wrong. I’d like to see forever though. I’ve been to
Disney World a dozen times. I’ve brought my kids up with Disney
movies. I can’t live without ESPN. Disney stock is the first stock
I’ve recommended on Mad Money almost 18 years ago. So I’m neither a
summer soldier nor a sunshine patriot. So when it comes to Disney’s
recent performance, believe me when I say that I am furious!
company has not done a good job. It’s cancelled its dividend. It’s
lost billions. Squandering a stunning amount of shareholder money.
Let me repeat, shareholder money. Like my money, or at least my
trust, like your money. You see like other publicly traded
companies, Disney’s actually owned by the shareholders who give
their trust to the CEO and the Board of Directors do a great job
with their money. Well at least that’s supposed to be how it works.
For some chief executives don’t seem to recognize that they’re
accountable to anyone. Some boards don’t think so either. Now that
doesn’t really bother me all that much when the stock’s doing well,
unless you discover some sort of like truly awful criminal
enterprise. But when the stocks doing poorly, I think management
loses that right to be treated with the congenial hail fellow well
met attitude that I had, that kind of Jeffersonian Gandhi thing I
do. And when the company loses fortunes, like Disney did when they
surprised us with this $4 billion loss with direct-to-consumer
product last year, more than double the previous year’s loss. You
know what? I don’t wear gloves but I’d take them off if I had them
on. I’m not gonna just throw the towel and walk away.
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