THE COMPANY STORE

DISNEY IS THE LATEST FIRM TO SELL ITS STOCK DIRECTLY

For a consumer company that fusses over its "guests," Walt Disney Co. can treat its shareholders as if they'd been caught littering the Magic Kingdom. Its CEO, Michael Eisner, already a model for runaway executive pay, made investors livid last year by running up a $100 million tab in hiring and firing Michael Ovitz. More recently the stock has lagged the market, dogged by boycotts by religious groups protesting everything from racy movies to personnel policies and, potentially far worse for shareholders, by concerns that the formula for the Mouse's wholesome animated films has grown stale. Never mind that Disney shares,...

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