The stock of Warner Bros. Discovery fell sharply on Aug. 5 after the recently-merged Hollywood conglomerate cut its earnings forecasts and CEO David Zaslav, CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels and their team outlined course corrections for the entertainment business strategies that WarnerMedia was pursuing when it was owned by AT&T.
Wiedenfels, who is working with Zaslav and the rest of the executive team to meet or exceed a $3 billion cost-saving goal from the merger, told an Aug. 4 conference call that “the strategic logic behind bringing these two together great companies is just as clear and solid as when we announced the deal.” He also appears to have viewed Friday’s 16 percent drop in shares as a buying opportunity, raising half a million dollars’ worth of shares this week.
According to a registration filing on Wednesday, he acquired 34,340 shares at a weighted average price of $14.09 (at prices ranging from $13.95 to $14.46 per share) and 1,120 shares at a weighted average price of $14.19 ( at prices ranging from $14,193 to $14,195 per share). Monday’s purchases add up to a combined weighted average price of $499,743.40. After them, the director owns 663,723 shares of the company’s Series A common stock, the filing said.
As is usually the case, the company did not comment on the share purchases. But Wiedenfels’ mantra was that “cash never lies.” In line with this, investors often view stock purchases by top executives as a sign of their confidence that stock prices should be or go higher than they currently are.
The CFO had also expanded his stock holdings at a higher price at the end of April, buying nearly $500,000 worth of stock for $19.95 each. At the time, Zaslav also doubled his confidence in the newly merged conglomerate by buying about $1 million in stock.