Herbalife gave Carl Icahn three more seats on its board. The nutritional products maker will have five Icahn-backed board members, if the new additions are approved. Icahn is Herbalife’s biggest shareholder and he’s backed the company, despite claims that it’s a pyramid scheme. Shares surged about seven percent to $52.86.
Coca-Cola’s executive team came under attack today for excessive pay. Shareholder David Winters, who runs the money management firm Wintergreen Advisers, sent a letter to Coca-Cola shareholders, including Warren Buffett, criticizing the company’s compensation plan. The activist says the plan transfers too much wealth from shareholders to management. Coke responded saying Wintergreen has misunderstood how the plan works. Shares were off a fraction to $38.40.
Apple & Comcast
Reports that Apple is in talks with Comcast for a streaming TV service sent shares of both companies up in today’s session. The rumored deal would use Apple’s set-top box and Comcast’s cables, so that content could bypass congestion on the web. Shares of Apple rose one percent to $539.19. Comcast edged up a fraction to $53.30. Comcast is the parent company of CNBC, which produces “Nightly Business Report.”
A report that Apple is considering launching a new on-demand music service weighed on shares of Pandora. Apple is also reportedly considering developing an iTunes app for Google’s Android devices. Shares of Pandora plunged almost eight percent to $31.39.
Disney named its ABC News President Ben Sherwood as Co-Chairman of its Media Networks and President of the Disney/ABC Television Group. Sherwood will replace Anne Sweeney, who announced her resignation two weeks ago. After the Bell, Reuters reported that Disney will buy the YouTube channel Maker Studios for $500,000. Shares of Disney fell today, down one percent to $79.49.
Cisco will spend $1 billion over the next two years to build up its cloud computing network. Rather than build its own cloud service and compete with companies like Amazon and IBM, Cisco will deliver the service, which it will call Intercloud, through a network of partners. Shares fell slightly to $21.57.