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Dan Loeb’s Third Point takes new activist stake in Disney

Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss how shares of Disney and Amazon are performing.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: All right, let's take a look at your Trending Tickers now. Shares of Disney are moving higher. Shares of Amazon moving a little lower. Let's talk about Disney first. Dan Loeb's third point, taking a new stake, I should say a renewed stake. And that is according to a letter that was put out by Loeb here.

Remember, Loeb, in his third point, had a stake in Disney then exited that stake in March. And now he's saying they've taken a significant stake. We don't know how much it is. It's likely below 5% because if it was above 5%, that would trigger a filing. But they are now filing to become an activist investor and are pushing for some changes.

And it's funny because Loeb kind of says, you guys might already be working on this stuff, but it might non-public material information, cost-cutting. He wants them to still not pay their dividend. So some changes that he's pushing for here.

BRIAN SOZZI: I'm still trying to figure out if Dan Loeb has the same juice as he did. I think we're past peak Dan Loeb of where he was 10 years ago. The real activist investor firm on the street, that's Elliott. You want to get things done? It's Elliott. Look what they're doing with PayPal.

But just going on here through this letter that Loeb put out here, they want them to spin off ESPN, not a new idea. I think they've been talking or thinking about that internally at Disney for some time. A lot of folks on the Street have put that out there. But here you have Dan Loeb pushing that.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, using some of their kind of dividend policy to pay down debt, repurchase shares, or organically reinvest in the business. I think for Hulu as well, what they mentioned also. And it was kind of congratulatory in some, of at least the outset of this letter, to say, yeah, we recognize that you are on this path that you've set forth, and it's been a difficult transition, seemingly so. But at the same, time, yeah, the spin off of ESPN, other cost-cutting measures.

They are talking about Hulu as well and the unreasonable price expectation at the time. And we know this as a priority for you and hope there is a deal to be had before Comcast is contractually obligated to do so in about 18 months in terms of the minority stake that Comcast still has in Hulu as well.

BRIAN SOZZI: Dan Loeb, great quarter, Disney, here's a bunch of ideas that are not new. We just wanted to write a letter.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, and be heard.

BRIAN SOZZI: And be heard. That too.


BRIAN SOZZI: It is what it is.

JULIE HYMAN: I don't know. OK, well, we'll see what happens with that.