Comcast, Disney Stocks Cool; Cos. Set Positions


Shares of both Comcast Corp. and The Walt Disney Co. took a rest Thursday as the companies scrambled to harden their positions in Comcast’s hostile takeover bid for the entertainment giant.

Disney continued its pre-scheduled two-day financial conference in Orlando, aiming to convince investors that the company is faring better than they–and Comcast–have contended. Disney’s board met again Thursday, but didn’t disclose what they decided.

"We believe that the company’s performance in 2003, and the strong outlook for 2004 signal the beginning of the next period of growth for the company," Disney President Bob Iger told investors.

Board member George Mitchell sharply defended Chairman Michael Eisner, saying that calls to withhold votes for his reelection to the board are "wholly unjustified."

Disney didn’t continue Wednesday’s sharp rally on news of Comcast’s $66 billion bid, ticking up just 2%. Comcast executives spent much of the day lobbying institutional investors to rally support for their offer.