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Harvey Norman shares fall after second remuneration strike

Kenneth Hall
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Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd (ASX: HVN) shares closed 0.69% lower on Wednesday following the company’s annual general meeting (AGM).

The Harvey Norman Board received a second strike on its remuneration report as Chairman Gerry Harvey lashed out at activist shareholders.

Why did Harvey Norman shares slump lower?

The Aussie retailer released a sales update ahead of its AGM and investors subsequently sold out of the stock.

Aggregated sales came in 2% higher at $2.44 billion for the 4 months through to 31 October. However, several key currencies strengthened over this period, which makes the results appear stronger than they may be.

Despite management’s focus on its strong FY19 result, shareholders had their target in the form of Gerry Harvey.

The co-founder and chairman has been seen in the media extensively in the lead-up to the AGM. Mr. Harvey continues to rail against what he sees as bullying by certain shareholders.

An article in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported Mr. Harvey pushing back against shareholder angst.

Mr. Harvey is himself also a major shareholder and owns 31% of Harvey Norman shares. In actual fact, Mr. Harvey alongside his wife and CEO Katie Page control an even larger chunk of shares.

The Board received a second strike on its remuneration report as shareholders flexed what muscle they could. Shareholders are pushing for further corporate governance enhancements including more independent directors and a change in the way the company’s accounts are reported.

How have Harvey Norman shares performed this year?

Harvey Norman shares have been a top performing stock over several decades – a fact not lost on Mr. Harvey.

The company chairman points to the share price success over a sustained period of time as a key reason for why things are as they are.

Despite edging lower yesterday, the company’s shares are up 42.52% in the last year, before even considering its 7.63% dividend yield.

The post Harvey Norman shares fall after second remuneration strike appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Kenneth Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019