1. Snow White and 72.5% of the DwarfsOne suspects that plenty of executives wouldn't win popularity contests among current and former employees. But for Disney's ( DIS) Michael Eisner, it's officially no longer a suspicion. After weeks of nosing around by disgruntled former Disney directors Stanley Gold and Roy Disney, we learned this week that when participants in Disney's 401(k) plan cast their votes last month, 72.5% of shares were voted against re-electing CEO Eisner to the board. We don't know how representative that number is of the sentiment among current and former Disney employees. The 9,400 401(k) participants who voted amount to only a fraction of Disney's 112,000 workforce, and we don't know how many of the voters are current Disney employees as opposed to former ones. Whatever. Some folks think 72.5% is a big deal, because the withhold vote for Eisner among all voted shares amounted to only 43%. Our opinion? That 72.5% figure strikes us as a little low. Put yourself in the shoes of these particular voters. You're walking around in a Minnie Mouse costume in 90-degree weather wearing a giant grin plastered on your face. You're waving hi and posing for photos with 2-year-olds who kick you in the shins. Meanwhile, the stock you socked away for the future is down about 40% from its 2000 highs. And what chance do you have to lash out at your boss, face to face, to express your frustration with his performance? None. None, that is, until this anti-Eisner movement comes along. Yep, by our measures, 72.5% withholding is like a landslide victory.
2. I Know Bull When I SiebelWe know Wall Street's much-maligned sell-side analysts are on a crusade to improve the quality and exactitude of their research. But this is getting ridiculous. We're talking about a report issued late last week by UBS analyst Heather Bellini, one in which she cut her price target on the software company Siebel Systems ( SEBL). More precisely (as pointed out to us by Brendan DeLamielleure), Bellini cut her 12-month price target on Siebel from $12.50 to $12. Yes, by 4%. By 50 cents.
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