Disney CEO Bob Iger Blocks Analyst on Twitter
Rich Greenfield, who first put a "sell" recommendation on Disney shares in 2015, has a history of tough takes on the conglomerate.
There are at least 32 Wall Street analysts covering Disney, but one of them seems to bother CEO Bob Iger a little more than the rest of them.
Rich Greenfield, who is far more bearish on Disney stock than most analysts, said Thursday that Iger has blocked him on Twitter.
"The chairman & CEO of the The Walt Disney Co., Robert Iger, has blocked us from seeing his tweets," Greenfield tweeted on Tuesday.
Greenfield first put a "sell" recommendation on Disney shares on Dec. 18, 2015, when the stock was at $111.50. Considering it was trading for less than $102 on Thursday, his call appears correct. Nevertheless, something recent has apparently irritated Iger, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Recent blog posts from Greenfield may offer clues as to what prompted Iger's ire, though, and it's two-fold: the rise of Netflix, which the analyst figures has hurt Disney and other entertainment conglomerates; and the decline of ESPN.
The most recent post is titled: "Why Was Disney's Bob Iger Lulled Into Complacency by Reed Hastings."
That post addressed Disney's announcement that it would create a streaming service for ESPN and another for Disney- and Pixar-branded content while ending its relationship with Netflix for that product come 2019.
"Disney under Iger's leadership has done more to propel Netflix than [any] other company, effectively creating the Netflix 'monster.' ... What took Iger so long to come to this conclusion?" Greenfield wrote.
Prior to that, a Greenfield post was titled: "Too Little, Too Late for Disney — Bob Iger's Strategic Mistakes Likely Irreversible Now."
"When historians look back on who is to blame for the rise of Netflix, we believe they will focus their attention on Disney, under the leadership of Iger," reads a portion of that post.
ESPN, meanwhile, is losing about 3 million subscribers annually, and Greenfield wrote six weeks ago: "With multichannel video subs losses growing and TV advertising at the start of secular decline, it's hard to see how networks such as ESPN can pay up to license sports rights in the future."