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May 26, 2015

Top Fidelity stockpicker: Financial markets are ‘colossally artificial’

BOSTON (Reuters) – Fidelity’s Joel Tillinghast, one of the mutual fund industry’s best stockpickers over the past 20 years, said financial markets are “colossally artificial” and cited ride-sharing upstart Uber and negative yielding government bonds as examples.

“I think it’s colossally artificial, but I don’t see it ending,” said Tillinghast, who runs the $46 billion Low-Priced Stock Fund for Fidelity Investments in Boston. He made his remarks on Friday in a rare interview.

May 22, 2015

McDonald’s CEO gets grilled at first annual meeting

LOS ANGELES/BOSTON (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders defied executives at its annual meeting on Thursday, approving a proposal to make it easier to nominate directors to the board of the fast-food chain and taking its new CEO to task over wages, advertising and its food.

McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, who took the helm on March 1, is fighting on numerous fronts as he works to turn around the company, which saw profit and revenue fall in 2014 after service times slowed and nimbler rivals picked off customers with menus that appeal to growing appetites for fresher, less-processed food.

May 21, 2015

McDonald’s shareholders approve new director-nomination rules

LOS ANGELES/BOSTON, May 21 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp
shareholders on Thursday approved a proposal that would
make it easier to nominate directors to the board of the
fast-food chain, which is in turnaround mode after losing
customers and sales to competition and after internal missteps.

Investor support for such new director nomination rules,
referred to as “proxy access,” is growing.

May 21, 2015

McDonald’s shareholders to weigh director-nomination rules

LOS ANGELES/BOSTON, May 21 (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp
shareholders will vote Thursday on a proposal that would
make it easier to nominate directors to the board of the
fast-food chain, which is in turnaround mode after losing
customers and sales to competition and after internal missteps.

Investor support for such new director nomination rules,
referred to as “proxy access,” is growing.

May 20, 2015

Pension fund leaders challenge McDonald’s and others on buybacks

BOSTON/LOS ANGELES, May 20 (Reuters) – Four U.S. public
pension fund officials on Wednesday warned that McDonald’s Corp
and other companies may be jeopardizing their own
futures by returning excessive amounts of cash to investors via
share buybacks.

The statement by the fund officials marks the first time in
which some of the nation’s biggest institutional investors have
joined up to urge companies to rethink their focus on immediate
returns and aim for long-term growth.

May 19, 2015

JPMorgan executive pay wins slim support from shareholders

DETROIT (Reuters) – Shareholders of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) narrowly approved on Tuesday the 2014 compensation packages for CEO Jamie Dimon and other top executives in a rebuke from investors over the bank’s pay practices.

Only 61 percent of votes cast at a shareholders meeting were in favor of the compensation, which came under criticism by influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services. It said the board does not sufficiently link pay to performance and shareholder interests.

May 12, 2015

Insight – U.S. media CEOs are top paid even in year when stock prices lagged

BOSTON (Reuters) – Investors in some top U.S. media companies have had a rough ride as their shares have lagged the rest of the market. You just wouldn’t know it if you looked at the bank accounts of their top executives.

The CEOs of 11 major media companies were given median compensation of $32.9 million (21 million pounds) for 2014, much higher than any other industry group in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, according to regulatory filings posted in the first four months of this year and analysed by executive pay consulting firm Farient Advisors for Reuters. Food & staples retailers came in a distant second at $24.5 million.

May 12, 2015

U.S. media CEOs are top paid even in year when stock prices lagged

BOSTON (Reuters) – Investors in some top U.S. media companies have had a rough ride as their shares have lagged the rest of the market. You just wouldn’t know it if you looked at the bank accounts of their top executives.

    The CEOs of 11 major media companies were given median compensation of $32.9 million for 2014, much higher than any other industry group in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, according to regulatory filings posted in the first four months of this year and analyzed by executive pay consulting firm Farient Advisors for Reuters. Food & staples retailers came in a distant second at $24.5 million.

May 7, 2015

Bank of America directors lose support from shareholders

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Four Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) directors on the board’s governance committee received unusually small majorities of votes for re-election at this week’s annual meeting, according to tallies the company released on Thursday.

None received more than 71.9 percent of the votes cast, compared with each last year receiving at least 98 percent.

May 6, 2015

T. Rowe’s Kennedy handing off CEO job to onetime football star Stromberg

May 6 (Reuters) – Asset manager T. Rowe Price Group Inc
said on Wednesday that global equity head William
Stromberg, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, will
become its chief executive on Jan. 1, succeeding James Kennedy,
who plans to retire later in 2016.

T. Rowe Price of Baltimore said that Kennedy, 61, would also
turn over his roles as president and chair of the firm’s
management committee to Stromberg, who is 55 years old and
joined the company in 1987 as an equity analyst.

    • About Ross

      "I cover mutual funds and the companies that offer them including Fidelity Investments and Legg Mason Inc, plus related topics like retirement savings issues and socially responsible investing. I'm based in Boston and joined Reuters in 2009."
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