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Panthius
09-12-2002, 01:53 PM
Disney's Eisner gears up for analyst roadshow

By Russ Britt, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 1:51 PM ET Sep 12, 2002
BURBANK, Calif. (CBS.MW) -- It seems Michael Eisner is getting his act together and taking it out on the road.

The chairman and chief executive of Walt Disney Co. (DIS: news) is in New York this week to press the flesh with Wall Street analysts. He hopes to convince them that all's well with the Mouse.

But reports are coming out that shareholder Providence Capital, led by Bert Denton, is encouraging institutional shareholders to meet and discuss issues that are hurting Disney's stock, down 37 percent since April and off 62 percent from the high reached in 2000.

On Thursday, Disney fell 48 cents to $15.70, a 3 percent drop.

Disney officials are downplaying the trip, saying that the analyst conferences were regularly scheduled trips.

"Because they are so routine, I don't even have a schedule," said Disney spokesman John Spelich. He added there is little concern over Providence's plans.

"We believe we have good communication and a good sense of what our shareholders are feeling," Spelich said.

On Wednesday, Providence said it would hold a meeting and teleconference for institutional investors on Sept. 17.

Various media reports say Denton apparently is looking to address issues of corporate governance, particularly plans to remake Disney's board and development of a succession plan for Eisner.

Disney has been beset by a number of woes lately, including sagging ratings for its ABC Television Network and poor attendance at its theme parks, wrought by last year's terrorist attacks.

Russ Britt is the Los Angeles Bureau Chief for CBS.MarketWatch.com.




It seems that some more interesting news is coming out about the makeup of the Disney's Board of Directors. This doesn't sound good for Eisner, in my opinion. I would be curious to hear from anybody who may have insight on the actual meaning of a get together like this.

Pan