Walt Disney (STAR)
DIS - NYSE
Can someone remind Bob Iger that there’s more to life than Disney? After serving as CEO from 2005 to 2020 and then as executive chairman until 2021, Mr. Iger came out of retirement this week to run the company again after the board turfed his successor. Bob Chapek had been CEO for less than three years and was increasingly getting on people’s nerves because of his single-minded focus on cost-cutting, his tough leadership style and, most recently, Disney’s lousy fourth-quarter results. Judging by the stock’s rebound this week, shareholders are thrilled to have Mr. Iger back. Seriously, though. Play some golf.
Allied Properties REIT (STAR)
AP.UN - TSX
Good news: Allied Properties REIT’s units are finally rising. Bad news: They’re rising because the REIT might be selling some of its best assets. Stung by higher interest rates and with its units under pressure amid fears of weaker demand for office space, Allied said it is exploring the sale of three data-centre properties in downtown Toronto that it values at $1.3-billion. Analysts say the REIT could use the proceeds to, among other things, reduce debt or repurchase its depressed units, which are trading at a huge discount to the stated net asset value of the REIT’s properties. Hmm. Maybe investors are missing out on a screaming bargain here, or Allied’s NAV estimates are just a smidgen too high?
Warner Music Group (STAR)
WMG - Nasdaq
Earl Sweatshirt? Action Bronson? Lil Uzi Vert? Who gives their children names like these? Wait, those aren’t their real names? I knew that. Anyway, thanks to these and other popular Warner Music artists – some of whom, such as Ed Sheeran and Michael Buble, actually do use their real names – the company’s revenues grew 9 per cent in the latest quarter as net earnings quintupled to US$150-million. With the stock gaining on the news, investors are seeing Ty Dolla $igns. No way that’s his real name.
Manchester United (STAR)
MANU - NYSE
Gooooaaaaal!!! The winner of the World Cup won’t be decided until mid-December, but investors in Manchester United are already celebrating. Shares of the storied British soccer club surged after Man U said it is exploring alternatives including a potential sale of the team, which has struggled on the pitch and suffered from a lack of investment in its stadium and facilities under penny-pinching owners, the Glazer family. Even star player Cristiano Ronaldo accused the Glazers – who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers – of not caring about the club, leading to his split with the team this week. Yup, time for an ownership substitution.
Abercrombie & Fitch (STAR)
ANF - NYSE
Remember years ago when Abercrombie & Fitch got sued for racial discrimination because it hired so many white people to work in its stores and model its clothes? Well, HR appears to have done some diversity and inclusiveness training. Shares of the retailer – which now features models of all shapes, sizes and colours on its website – rose after it surprised Wall Street with a profit in the third quarter, driven by a 10-per-cent jump in sales at its namesake A&F chain. Nowadays, the only colour A&F investors care about is seeing all the green in their portfolios.