Disney CEO buys $1M of Apple stock, a vote of confidence amid insane sell-off

Disney CEO and Apple board member Bob Iger earlier this week purchased $1 million worth of shares of the iPhone maker, just one week after exercising an option on a million shares for $17.9 million. The move is seen as an attempt by the Disney executive to show confidence during a period of sell-offs one analyst described as “insane”.

Iger joined Apple’s board of directors a year ago and is credited with healing wounds between the two companies when his predecessor Michael Eisner led the studio. The executive purchased $1 million worth of Apple stock at the time, then worth near $375 per share. Under Iger, Disney has been a loyal supporter of Apple, permitting movies on iTunes during a time when other Hollywood content owners avoided Steve Jobs…

“He’s just diversifying his investments and still has a very large portfolio of Disney stock”, a Disney spokeswoman told Bloomberg earlier this week.

The SEC filing was discovered by Business Insider.

Apple’s stock has recently struggled, brought low by concerns that a potential ending of business tax breaks could harm Apple’s profits.

Some on Wall Street also worried about the lower-than-expected iPad sales in September of just just 14 million units. The depressed stock prices caused others to scratch their heads.

Analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital this week called the sell-off of Apple stock “insanely insane”, suggesting investors buy shares in the wake of its low stock price.

The flight from Apple shares was incredible, given that we are heading into a December quarter when expects believe the iPad maker should announce monstrous numbers.

Does it take the company that Mickey built to boost investor confidence?

Perhaps investors (or the investors’ computerized trading) should be blamed for Apple’s stock losses. After all, Iger can tell the difference between a duck and a lemming.

The executive runs the Mickey Mouse house a lot like late Apple CEO Steve Jobs had used to lead the consumer electronics powerhouse he co-founded.

He told Fortune back in May:

“In a strange way,” Iger says, “I am the brand manager of Disney.” He sees his job as building, in the words of his friend the late Steve Jobs, more “brand deposits” than “brand withdrawals”.

Seen at the top: Steve Jobs and Bob Iger during an Apple media event in San Francisco, September 12, 2006, when Apple announced a new iTunes service to download movies. It launched with 75 feature films from Disney’s four studios, including Pixar.