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OPINION
April 5, 2013 | By Mark Rogers
It's "proxy season" again for most public companies - called that because most shareholders submit their votes via proxy rather than attend the companies' annual meetings in person. This year's season represents a critical juncture in public company corporate governance because of the 2012 season, which earned the moniker "Shareholder Spring" in some circles. The reference was to the dramatic "Arab Spring" across the Middle East, which was marked by wide-scale protests seeking reform within autocratic governments.
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BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Takeover target Allergan Inc., the company that makes Botox, has adopted a "poison pill" defense intended to delay a buyout by Canadian company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and activist investor Bill Ackman. The Irvine company's "stockholder rights plan" allows existing shareholders to buy Allergan stock at a steep discount if any single investor acquires more than 10% of its shares. That would drive down the value of the major investors' shares, making it unlikely that anyone would acquire that much stock.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 2012 | By Meg James
Investors have long protested Rupert Murdoch's tight grip on his media conglomerate News Corp. Over the years, shareholders have complained about nepotism and outsized executive pay packages. They have winced over board members' lack of independence from Murdoch and the company's two classes of stock, which allow the Murdoch family to call the shots because they control the voting shares even though family members own less than 15% of equity in the company. A year ago, shareholders were restive after a phone hacking scandal exploded at the company's British newspaper division.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Irish pharmaceutical giant Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals said it will pay $5.6 billion in cash and stock for a fast-growing Anaheim bio-pharmaceutical firm that specializes in treating multiple sclerosis, the companies announced Monday. The deal for Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. would give Mallinckrodt drugs that primarily treat chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Questcor's Acthar Gel, used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, accounts for most of the company's sales.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
MetroPCS shareholders on Wednesday approved the company's acquisition by T-Mobile after T-Mobile sweetened its offer for the nation's fifth-largest wireless carrier. The deal was approved after Deutsche Telekom , T-Mobile's parent company, reduced the size and cut the interest rate on a loan it will provide to the merged company, according to Bloomberg . With MetroPCS, T-Mobile gains 9 million new prepaying customers and expands its wireless spectrum, allowing T-Mobile to improve the speed and quality of its network, the company said.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2010 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
Financial reform seems certain to usher in rules that shareholder advocates have been trying to win for decades as a way to rein in runaway executive pay and make corporate boards more responsive to shareholders. That could be very good news for the roughly 70% of investors who hold company stocks in their investment portfolios. Issues including better regulation of both financial and consumer services are part of the sweeping financial reform measure that's now being reconciled in Congress and is expected to land on President Obama's desk before July 4. Although all the details won't be known until the reconciliation between the House and Senate bills is complete, experts believe the bulk of these "corporate governance" rules are likely to survive.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
Hewlett-Packard  Co. shareholders voted in favor of the current board at an annual meeting Wednesday, shrugging off a campaign by some investors to ignite a protest over a series of troubled acquisitions. HP announced that all 11 directors received at least 50% of the vote in their favor. The results of the vote were announced at the end of HP's annual shareholder meeting, held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The 90-minute meeting included an extensive presentation by Chief Executive Meg Whitman, who outlined the strides she believes have been made in turning around the Silicon Valley icon.
BUSINESS
July 12, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
A merger between US Airways and American Airlines, creating the nation's largest air carrier, has taken another step forward with the approval of a majority of US Airways shareholders. About 99% of US Airways Group shareholders who voted Friday supported the merger with American's parent company, AMR Corp. The vote was not surprising as it was US Airways that first proposed the merger after AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2011. "This approval is a major milestone on our path to completing the merger, and we continue to make excellent progress overall thanks to the focused efforts of the dedicated representatives from both companies," said Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of US Airways and incoming chief executive of the combined company.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2013 | By Shan Li
This post has been corrected. See below for details. Occidental Petroleum Chairman Ray Irani was ousted by shareholders from the oil and gas petroleum's board and was absent from Friday's annual meeting in Santa Monica Irani, 78, has been with the company since 1983. He took over as chairman and chief executive in 1990 after the death of company founder Armand Hammer. He gave up the CEO post two years ago and was scheduled to retire from the company in 2014. Aziz Syriani, the lead independent director of Occidental since 1999, also withdrew as a candidate for re-election to the board.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2012 | By Joe Bel Bruno
Maybe Jamie Dimon is more crooner than he is a banker -- at least in the ears of investors. JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders got a big boost as soon as their chairman and chief executive opened his mouth in testimony before Congress. The stock surged 1.6% on Wednesday to $34.30 at the closing bell -- a nearly $2-billion boost to the company's market value on a day when Wall Street tumbled. They don't call Dimon “the king of Wall Street” for nothing. In nearly two hours of testimony, Dimon told Congress the big bank took risks that were not complely understood.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Walt Disney Co. held its annual meeting in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday and used the occasion to reveal a few tidbits about its forthcoming film projects, including a pair of animated sequels and the company's first "Star Wars" picture. Shareholders of Disney, the world's largest entertainment company, also confirmed all 10 members of the board of directors who were up for reelection. The meeting was also notable for what did not transpire there. The Burbank company was able to avoid a vote on a proposal put forward by a group of activist investors who wanted to amend the process by which candidates are nominated to the board.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
CUPERTINO, Calif. -- At an annual shareholders meeting Friday that was almost completely devoid of drama, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook still managed to stun the audience for a moment and bring the room to complete silence.  Sitting on a chair onstage, holding an iPad and some notes, about halfway through a Q&A session, Cook suddenly said something unthinkable for a company that never says a peep about its future plans: "And now I'm going...
BUSINESS
February 3, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
A procedural rule will keep SeaWorld shareholders from considering a plan by animal rights activists to invest in whale sanctuaries. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals tried to bring the idea to shareholders in response to the documentary "Blackfish," which alleges mistreatment of captive killer whales at the parks. SeaWorld has refuted the allegations raised in "Blackfish. " As owners of 80 shares in SeaWorld Entertainment, PETA can suggest proposals to be included in proxy material mailed to all shareholders.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2014 | By Joe Flint and Meg James
Charter Communications has offered more than $60 billion for Time Warner Cable, a move that could spark a new round of consolidation in the telecommunications industry. If Charter succeeds with its takeover attempt, it would be a marriage of two of the nation's -- and Southern California's -- biggest pay-TV and Internet providers. Combined, the two companies would have more than 15 million video customers in the United States. The offer, which was made Monday, is for $132.50 a share.
BUSINESS
December 27, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
Investor activist Carl Icahn has submitted an advisory proposal asking Apple to increase the size of its stock buyback program in 2014 to $50 billion.  The details of the proposal were included in a proxy statement that Apple filed Friday afternoon with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The proxy revealed that Apple's annual shareholder meeting will be held Feb. 28, and it contains details of 11 proposals that investors will be asked to vote on.  Most of the proposals are mundane, such as reappointing board members or an auditing firm. However, Icahn's proposal (No. 10)
BUSINESS
December 4, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
Shareholder activist Carl Icahn said Wednesday he had informed Apple that he has submitted a proposal to let shareholders vote on a larger stock buyback. In a tweet Wednesday, Icahn wrote: "Gave $AAPL notice we'll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $150 billion level. " A "precatory" proposal is one that is considered an advisory measure, but not necessarily legally binding. Apple's annual shareholder meeting typically takes place in February.  Icahn revealed his large stake in Apple this summer and said he would begin pressing the company to increase the size of the stock buyback.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
Shareholders have voted down two proposals brought forward at the Walt Disney Co. annual meeting that sought to change how the largest entertainment company in the world is governed. One proposal called for the future split of the chief executive and chairman positions, which are both currently held by Robert Iger. At the meeting, held in Phoenix on Wednesday morning, the Burbank-based company said that only 35.3% of shareholders who cast non-binding votes in advance of the meeting approved the split.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2012 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before choosing between the debate and the baseball playoffs. The Skinny: I have got to stop turning these football games off at halftime. That Broncos comeback would have been fun to watch. Tuesday's headlines include a curtain-raiser on News Corp.'s annual meeting, India-based Reliance Media's thoughts on outsourcing and an update on the Cablevision - Dish Network trial. Daily Dose: Sports personality Dan Patrick, host of his popular radio and TV morning talk show , is getting a new home.
OPINION
October 30, 2013 | By Ciara Torres-Spelliscy
Anticipating the Securities and Exchange Commission's actions can feel like waiting for Godot. The SEC has been sitting on a petition for a new rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose to shareholders what corporate funds are spent on political activities. The petition was filed in August 2011 by 10 corporate law professors, yet the formal rule-making process on it still has not begun. More than 640,000 people - including senators, representatives, state treasurers, comptrollers, former Vanguard Chief Executive John Bogle, investors and me - have filed public comments endorsing the need for such a rule.
BUSINESS
October 3, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- As Twitter made public its stealth filing for an initial public offering, it parted with some of its Silicon Valley brethren by saying it would only issue one class of shares, meaning it plans to give all shareholders a vote. Unlike Facebook, Groupon and LinkedIn, Twitter will not have two classes of stock. (Or three classes of stock, like Google and Zynga). Shareholder activists and corporate governance experts have heaped scorn on the practice that they say disenfranchises investors.
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