Cuban Buys Charter on the Cheap

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With Charter Communications Inc. trading at all-time lows, Dallas Mavericks
owner Mark Cuban swept in to buy 15.7 million shares in the major MSO.

A Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure Friday that Cuban bought a
5.3 percent stake in Charter boosted its stock 33 percent (31 cents) to $1.25
per share.

Charter has been pummeled in recent weeks on concerns about a grand-jury
investigation into its accounting practices. And last week, the MSO placed chief
operating officer David Barford on paid leave.

But Cuban, who pocketed billions when he sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo! Inc. in
1999, said he sees some potential in the company.

'When Charter stock and bonds started trading like it was going out of
business, I increased my buying significantly,' Cuban told Saturday's St.
Louis Post-Dispatch
.

'I think [CEO] Carl Vogel is doing a great job, and I think the company has
the full support of [chairman] Paul Allen, whose vision of connectivity I
share,' added Cuban, who also owns high-definition cable channel HDNet.

But not everyone on Wall Street is as optimistic as Cuban. Deutsche Bank
downgraded Charter Friday from 'buy' to 'hold.'

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