Sudden C-Suite Shuffle Weighs on Disney Stock

Disney CEO Bob Iger will step down, but remain as chairman

by Patrick Martin

Published on Feb 26, 2020 at 11:24 AM

The shares of Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) are sitting out the Dow's furious rally from this week's steep drop. DIS is the worst Dow stock today, down 1.4% to trade at $126.44, after it was announced CEO Bob Iger will be stepping down. Although he will remain company chairman, Bob Chapek, prior head of Disney Parks, will succeed Iger. Cowen and Company called the timing of the decision "curious," but noted that Iger's presence will help ease the transition. 

Disney stock is headed toward its fifth straight loss, and is trading at its lowest point since a mid-April bull gap. Since a Nov. 26 record high of $153.41, the shares have shed almost 18%, with their 50-day moving average emerging as resistance in 2020. 

In the options pits, Disney stock's Schaeffer's open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.62, which ranks in the 85th percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term options players have rarely been more put-heavy during the last 12 months. 

It's more of the same today. In just the first hour of trading, 23,000 puts have changed hands, triple the average intraday amount and volume pacing for the 99th percentile of its annual range. Leading the charge today is March 125 put, while new positions are being opened at the weekly 2/28 126-strike put.

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