Investor Nelson Peltz Stirs Up Disney (DIS) with Board Bid

By Patricia Miller


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Nelson Peltz challenges Disney's board, signaling potential changes in governance, strategy, and investor value. A pivotal moment for shareholders.

The Walt Disney company logo on smartphone with share price chart behind.
Peltz Aims for Disney Board Seats

What You Need To Know

Nelson Peltz, an activist investor and his firm, Trian Fund Management, are intensifying their engagement with Disney (NYSE: DIS), signaling a potential proxy battle. They aim for more than two seats on Disney's board, a move that follows Disney’s recent addition of Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and former Sky TV boss Jeremy Darroch to its board. This is perceived as a strategic response to Peltz's challenge.

Disney, however, sees this as more than a business maneuver. It attributes the challenge to a personal issue between Peltz’s ally, former Marvel boss Ike Perlmutter, and Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger. Perlmutter, who has a significant stake in Disney through shares overseen by Peltz, has been critical of Iger's decisions, especially after his termination from Disney earlier this year.

Amidst this, Disney's financial performance shows a mixed picture. While its stock has seen a modest rise this year, it lags behind the broader S&P 500 index. In a move possibly aimed at bolstering investor confidence, Disney has announced the reinstatement of its dividend.

The backdrop of this corporate drama includes broader challenges in Disney’s operations, particularly in its Marvel Studios segment. Iger, focusing on revamping Marvel Studios, acknowledges the need for a creative turnaround, citing a decline in the quality of its franchise films. This strategy aligns with Disney's broader approach of greenlighting sequels only when they have a substantial artistic and narrative justification.

Amid these developments, Disney is also undergoing changes in its board, with new directors coming in and others stepping down. This reshuffling, along with the ongoing tussle with Peltz, highlights a period of significant transition and potential strategic redirection for the entertainment giant.

Why This Is Important for Retail Investors

  1. Impact on Share Value: The involvement of an activist investor like Nelson Peltz often leads to significant changes in a company's strategy and governance, which can impact the stock's value. For retail investors, this could mean potential changes in the performance of their Disney shares. Activist investors typically push for reforms they believe will increase shareholder value, so this situation could lead to positive developments for Disney's stock price.

  2. Governance and Oversight: The push for board representation by Peltz's firm indicates a shift towards possibly more stringent oversight and governance within Disney. For retail investors, better governance could mean a more stable and responsibly managed company, which is generally favorable for long-term investment prospects.

  3. Dividend Policy Reinstatement: Disney's decision to reinstate its dividend is a significant development for retail investors, especially those who rely on dividends as a source of income. The reinstatement, mentioned in the context of the proxy fight, could be seen as a move to appease shareholders and may result in a more consistent dividend policy going forward.

  4. Strategic Focus and Operational Changes: Peltz’s involvement could lead to strategic shifts within Disney, particularly in areas like Marvel Studios, where there have been recent challenges. For retail investors, changes in strategy can have far-reaching implications on the company's future revenue streams and market positioning, thus affecting the long-term value of their investment.

  5. Market Perception and Investor Confidence: The dynamics of a proxy fight and the subsequent boardroom changes can influence market perception and investor confidence. How Disney navigates this challenge and the resulting corporate narrative can affect the stock's attractiveness to potential and current investors. For retail investors, it's crucial to monitor how these developments are perceived in the market, as they can impact both the short-term and long-term performance of their investments.

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How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

Value Investing

The potential boardroom changes and strategic shifts could lead to operational improvements, making Disney a potential value play. If Peltz's involvement leads to cost-cutting, efficiency improvements, or divestitures of underperforming segments, the company could unlock hidden value. The reinstatement of dividends indicates financial stability and a commitment to returning value to shareholders, a key consideration for value investors. However, the current P/E ratio is 72, which does not signal a value investment.

Value investing searches for undervalued companies that trade for less than their intrinsic values, with the expectation that they will eventually be recognized by the market.

Growth Investing

Efforts to revitalize core segments like Marvel Studios could spur new growth, particularly if new strategies lead to successful film releases or expansions in other entertainment areas. Any long-term strategic shifts, such as entering new markets or technological innovations, could present growth opportunities, especially if these changes improve Disney’s competitive edge.

Growth investing focuses on stocks of companies expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to other stocks in the market; learn more in our article titled 'What is Growth Investing?'.

Momentum Investing

Momentum investors might look at how Disney's stock reacts to news events surrounding this boardroom saga. Positive developments or successful implementation of new strategies could create a momentum play. The overall market sentiment towards Disney, influenced by both the proxy battle and broader strategic decisions, can be a key driver for momentum-focused investors.

Momentum investing rides the wave of existing market trends by buying assets that have shown an upward price trend and selling those in a downtrend.

Dividend Investing

The reinstatement of dividends might attract dividend-focused investors looking for stable income streams, particularly if Disney commits to consistent and potentially growing dividend payouts.

Dividend investing targets companies that regularly distribute a portion of their earnings to shareholders as dividends.

Contrarian Investing

If the proxy battle leads to temporary dips in Disney’s stock price due to uncertainty, contrarian investors might see this as a buying opportunity, betting on the company's long-term resilience and brand strength.

Contrarian investing involves taking positions against prevailing market trends on the belief that the crowd is wrong.

Read What Others Are Saying

The Walt Disney Company: Statement from The Walt Disney Company

CNBC: Activist investor Nelson Peltz launches Disney proxy fight, seeks multiple board seats

FT: Disney clashes with Nelson Peltz as activist launches new proxy battle

Relevant ETFs

Some investors prefer to invest in stocks via an exchange-traded fund for ease and reduced risk. Some popular ETFs include the following:

  • Large-Caps: Vanguard Mega Cap ETF (MGC)

  • Mid-Caps: Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF (VO)

  • Small-Caps: Vanguard Small-Cap ETF (VB)

  • Growth: iShares Core S&P U.S. Growth ETF (IUSG)

  • Value: iShares Core S&P US Value ETF (IUSV)

  • Developed Markets: Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA)

Investing with Insight

Knowing where to invest is not easy. Bullish and bearish sentiment is always vying for control, and investors like you can very quickly become overwhelmed.

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Internet and social media adoption in India is surging, and the country has the LARGEST youth population worldwide. Over 650M people are under 25 years old, and 850M are under 35 years old. 

With rising economic and educational prospects, the country is a hotbed for digital engagement.

Some highlights you’ll want to know include:

  • This is one of the fastest-growing creator-media companies in India and the United States.

  • This company reaches 1 billion global consumers every month.

  • India was the second-fastest-growing market in the influencer marketing space in 2022. 

  • Global influencer marketing spend is expected to reach $34 billion in 2023.

  • This company has posted nine consecutive quarters of YoY growth, representing a 33% CAGR using its repeatable content strategy.

  • This impressive small-cap has just appointed a former TikTok Country manager as its India Group CEO. 

Finally, this stock is analyst-backed with a potential 114% upside from the analyst initiation date.

If you're intrigued by this stock’s promising prospects, why not take a closer look?


In this article:


Author: Patricia Miller

This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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