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Hedge funds and C-suites weekly: Bob Iger's return to Disney

Here is your weekly roundup of the biggest news out of hedge funds and company top brass, all first covered on InvestingPro+.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the most frequent top-10 holding among hedge funds, according to Goldman Sachs, replacing Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) at the top of the list. Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) comes in third while Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) entered the top five for the first time. On the other hand, Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) fell out of the top 5 for the first time since 2014.

Goldman’s “VIP” basket of 50 stocks that appear most often among the top 10 holdings of fundamental hedge funds has outperformed the S&P 500 in 58% of quarters since 2001. Microsoft gained 1.7% for the week to $247.49, while Amazon and Meta were down 2.6% and 2.2% respectively. Alphabet Class A shares lost 1.3%, Uber was off 2.4%, and Netflix retreated 3.9%.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) announced that CEO Bob Chapek has stepped down from his role, to be replaced by a returning Bob Iger. Iger spent over four decades at Disney, including 15 years as its CEO (2005-2020). Wells Fargo called the announcement “a positive surprise," and Goldman Sachs also weighed in positively on the CEO change.

The Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Trian Fund Management invested over $800 million in Disney stock after the recent pullback in shares. The report adds that the hedge fund is likely to increase its stake in the entertainment company. Trian is also pushing to gain a seat on Disney’s board and was against the reappointment of Iger. Disney shares were up 6.5% to $98.87 for the week.

Independent Franchise Partners, a major outside shareholder in News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) and Fox Corp Class A (NASDAQ:FOXA), opposes plans by Rupert Murdoch to recombine the companies and wants other alternative considered, including a breakup of News Corp, according to a report from Dow Jones, citing sources. Irenic also said News Corp should explore "value-maximizing alternatives" to a combination with Fox. News Corp shares were up fractionally for the week at $18.30, and Fox Class A shares gained 0.9% to $31.29.

Carl Icahn is said to hold a large GameStop (NYSE:GME) short position, according to Bloomberg. Shares were down 6.9% to $26.17 for the week.

Teva (NYSE:TEVA) has appointed Richard Francis as CEO, effective January 1, 2023. In order to facilitate an orderly transition, current CEO Kåre Schultz and the Teva Board of Directors have mutually agreed that Mr. Schultz will retire from his current position as Chief Executive Officer, effective December 31, 2022. Schultz said, “This is the right time for a transition, and Richard’s proven track record in the industry makes him the right person to serve as Teva’s next CEO.” Teva shares gained fractionally at $8.87 for the week.

Senad Karaahmetovic contributed to this article.

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