The stock of Warner Bros. Discovery dropped sharply on Aug. 5 after the recently merged Hollywood conglomerate cut its profit projections and CEO David Zaslav, CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels and their team outlined course corrections to entertainment business strategies pursued by WarnerMedia when it was owned by AT&T.
Wiedenfels, who is working with Zaslav and the rest of the executive team to reach or exceed a cost savings target of $3 billion from the merger, told a conference call on Aug. 4 that, “the strategic logic behind bringing these two great companies together is as apparent and sound as when we announced the deal.” He also seems to have seen Friday’s 16 percent drop in the stock as a buying opportunity, scooping up half a million dollars worth of shares this week.
According to a regulatory filing on Wednesday, he acquired 34,340 shares for a weighted average price of $14.09 (at prices ranging from $13.95 to $14.46 per share) and 1,120 shares for a weighted average price of $14.19 (at prices ranging from $14.193 to $14.195 per share). The purchases on Monday add up to a combined weighted average price of $499,743.40. After them, the executive holds 663,723 shares of the company’s Series A common stock, the filing said.
As is typically the case, the company didn’t comment on the stock acquisitions. But Wiedenfels’ mantra has been that “cash never lies.” In line with that, investors often look at stock purchases by top executives as a sign of their confidence that share prices should be or go higher than they currently are.
The CFO had in late April also added to his stock holdings at a higher price, purchasing close to $500,000 in shares for $19.95 a piece. Back then, Zaslav also doubled down on his faith in the newly merged conglomerate by buying about $1 million in stock.