Wall Street Rises: S&P 500, Nasdaq Show Incremental Gains Following Powell’s Assurance of Impending Rate Cuts in 2021

Wall Street Rises: S&P 500, Nasdaq Show Incremental Gains Following Powell’s Assurance of Impending Rate Cuts in 2021

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) activist investor Nelson Peltz has fought for a board shake-up at the company for months. Today, investors will find out whether he has won.

The results of a shareholder vote to select board members are expected to be announced at the entertainment giant’s annual stockholders meeting on Wednesday. Voting officially closes the day of the meeting, but sources told Reuters enough votes had been cast as of Tuesday evening for Disney to safely defeat Peltz.

Institutional investors Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street serve as Disney’s three largest shareholders. According to The Wall Street Journal, BlackRock has voted in favor of the company’s current board. Reuters reported that Vanguard also has voted to back the existing board. The position of State Street is still unknown.

Yahoo Finance confirmed that T. Rowe Price, which holds a smaller position in Disney, has backed the company too. “We are comfortable that management has a viable plan to address the important matters facing the company,” a spokesperson for the investment firm said in an email.

It’s a critical moment for Disney as the company attempts to navigate consumers’ shift away from traditional cable packages into mostly unprofitable streaming services. The company also faces succession questions, with CEO Bob Iger’s contract set to expire at the end of 2026.

Peltz, who recently secured the support of influential proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), is seeking board seats for himself and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo. Peltz’s hedge fund Trian Fund Management owns $3 billion of common stock in Disney, which includes the shares owned by former Marvel Entertainment chair Ike Perlmutter.

Peltz is aiming to replace two existing board members: former Mastercard executive Michael Froman and Maria Elena Lagomasino.

Disney, which has received backing from the high-profile proxy firm Glass Lewis, has defended both Froman and Lagomasino, describing the duo as “highly valued and engaged members of the board” in a statement to Yahoo Finance.

The company has said it’s made “significant progress” in turning around its business. Some changes have included the implementation of an ad-supported tier for its streaming service Disney+, in addition to price increases on its streaming services and theme parks and password-sharing crackdowns.

Investors have reacted positively to the changes, sending Disney’s stock up about 35% this year.

The shareholder meeting is set to take place at 10am PT/ 1pm ET this afternoon. In the meantime, catch up on what you need to know here.

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