Cable stocks took a pounding Thursday, with five of the nine publicly traded
MSOs reaching new 52-week lows, as investors continued to fret about leverage
issues, complicated corporate structures and general market weakness.
Adelphia Communications Corp. led the pack with a decline of 19 percent, or
$1.89 per share, to close at $8.01. Earlier in the day, Adelphia hit a new
52-week low of $7.83 per share.
Adelphia shares have fallen a total of 59.7 percent since March 27, when the
company revealed that it had $2.3 billion in off-balance-sheet debt that it
could be responsible for.
The cable sector was the focus of TheWall Street Journal's
influential 'Heard on the Street' column Thursday, which added to the sell-off.
The article said other cable companies may have similar debt problems to
Other cable stocks hitting new low points included Comcast Corp., Cablevision
Systems Corp., AOL Time Warner Inc. and AT&T Corp.
Comcast fell to $27.17 before rallying to close at $27.47, down 6.8 percent,
or $2. Cablevision fell to $26 before closing at $26.35 (down $2.60). AOL Time
Warner dropped to $19 before closing at $19.60 (down $1.10). And AT&T went
as low as $13.19 before finishing at $13.27 (down $1.15).
The rest of the sector was down, as well, with Insight Communications Co.
Inc. finishing down 73 cents each to $18.22, Mediacom Communications Corp. down
79 cents per share to $11.96 and Cox Communications Inc. off 92 cents per share