Cable Stocks Get Bit in Bear Market

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Cable stocks weathered
the market storm last week, losing ground
along with the rest of the market in last
Thursday’s 419-point dent in the Dow
Jones Industrial Average, but tempering
those declines in a less-damaging session
last Friday.

Fears of a longer, deeper recession
pushed the Dow down 419 points Aug. 18
and cable stocks followed suit, with MSOs
and programmers tallying losses ranging
from 2.5% (Disney) to 8% (Cablevision
Systems). Last Friday’s market was nearly
as volatile — the index swung nearly 250
points between high and lows during the
day, finishing the session down 179 points.

Cable stocks fared better on Aug. 19,
with most enduring modest declines and
a few even regaining some lost ground.

On the plus side, AMC Networks regained
a small part of its 4.4% Aug. 18 loss,
rising 0.3% (9 cents) on Aug.19. Charter
Communications, down 5.1% on Aug.18,
gained 1.3% (61 cents).

For the rest of the stocks, the declines
continued on Aug. 19, albeit at a slower
pace than the day before.

Cablevision dipped 1% (22 cents) on
Aug. 19; Time Warner Cable, down 4.1%
Aug. 18, fell 1%; and Comcast, down 4.9%
last Thursday, fell 1.6% the following day.

Satellite giants Dish Network (down
5.1% Aug. 18) and DirecTV (down 3.6%
Aug. 18), fell 2% each last Friday.

Programmers continued their slide last
Friday. Discovery Communications, down
6.9% Aug. 18, fell 0.4% on Aug. 19; Time
Warner Inc., down 6.2% Aug. 18, dipped
2.6%; and Scripps Networks, down 6% Aug.
18, fell 2.5%. Rounding out the sector, News
Corp., down 5.3% Aug. 18, dipped 3%; Viacom,
down 5% Aug. 18, shed 3.3%; and Disney,
down 2.5%, Aug. 18 dipped 2%.