Cable Looks Quite Stable


In a report issued last week, Salomon Smith Barney Inc. cable analyst Niraj Gupta predicted cable stocks were likely to report lower cash-flow growth in the first quarter, but stressed that the sector still represents an "island of stability in an otherwise unstable environment." Gupta sees cash-flow growth, usually in the 10-percent range, around at 8 percent in the quarter because programming costs rose ahead of MSO rate increases in January. Full-year growth rates should be 11 percent to 12 percent. Cable remains "one of the few sectors where companies are able to make '01 estimates," he wrote.