What a difference a year makes. Little more than 365 complete revolutions of the Earth ago, Comcast was making unwanted overtures to Disney and Michael Eisner seemed to be headed toward being unceremoniously tossed out of the Magic Kingdom. The anniversary of "the merger that wasn’t" went unobserved Fri as Disney shareholders met in Minneapolis to vote on the composition of its board. Last year’s meeting was overshadowed by ‘The Philadelphia Story,’ and shareholders reacted accordingly, withholding 45% of votes for Eisner in a show of dissatisfaction over the direction in which the Mouse was heading; this year, with the Comcast bid long rescinded—and all but completely forgotten—preliminary numbers showed that 92% of those who voted did so in support of returning all 12 directors to the board, including Eisner. (He’ll step down for good in ’06.) — Before we sweep away recollections of Comcast’s bid for good, it’s important to note the Street has a memory longer than Dumbo’s. When Comcast made its intentions known Feb 11, ’04, shares plummeted, finishing at $31.23, well under the MSO’s 52-wk high of $36.50 in mid-Jan. One year later, Comcast has come nearly full circle, closing at $31.69 (its new 52-wk high is $34.26, reached last month). Shares hit a 52-week low of $26.25 in the dog days of Aug, in a trough dug equidistant between the bid and its anniversary. Disney showed a similar profile, hitting the skids almost 6 months to the day after the bid (8/13, $20.88), before making a steady climb to recovery. In fact, the Mouse surged back stronger than Comcast in that its Fri close of $29.35 nearly followed a 52-week high of $29.99 (2/08).

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DirecTV, DISH Merger Still Possible

AT&T found a way to offload a stake in its US video business, but this likely isn’t the end of the road for DirecTV. A combo with DISH is still possible.

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