Cablevision To Explore Asset Sales, Dividends And Buybacks

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Cablevision’s stock got another bump today when it said officially it would explore the spin-off of businesses “and other potential strategies” to increase the company’s stock price.

Cablevision (CVC) closed up $2.27, or 8.75%, to $28.20 a share in Tuesday trading. Cablevision said its board of directors authorized management to explore several strategies “for bringing the market value of the company’s common stock more closely in line with the underlying operating performance of the company.” 

The company will explore setting a policy regarding a regular quarterly dividend or making stock buybacks “as promptly as practicable.” Cablevision said it will hire investment bankers or other advisers as needed.

A release quoted CEO James Dolan: “We are highly confident of the strength of our underlying businesses and our operating performance. As we indicated last week we have a strong desire to close the value gap between our operating performance and the market value of our shares and, therefore, we will be actively looking at options to accomplish that.”

Cablevision shares rose last week after Dolan, during a call discussing second-quarter earnings (which were above expectations), said the company would focus on closing what called a “valuation gap.” Options believed to be likely action candidates include spinning off the Rainbow programming assets as a separate company, possibly followed later by another attempt to take the company private.