Accentuating The Cautious


SG Cowen cable analysts took stock of the second quarter and came away cautious. Competition, which recently helped to hammer Cox Communications Inc., lurks in the form of direct-broadcast-satellite and digital- subscriber-line providers. And consolidation, which helped to elevate stock values, has ground to a halt. On the upside, sales of new services keep rising-Cowen upwardly revised its sales estimates for Comcast Corp. and Cablevision Systems Corp.-and the analysts think that more consolidation will eventually take place. Strong-buy rated Comcast and Cablevision remain the top picks, followed by buy-rated EchoStar Communications Corp.