The Dow Jones industrial average—rocked by analyst downgrades of index stalwarts General Motors and Citigroup, rising oil prices and turmoil in the financial sector—reached its lowest level (11,453.42) since September 2006, plunging 358.41 points on Thursday and, to an extent, taking the cable sector right along with it.
While cable stocks fared better than GM (which lost 10% of its value on Thursday), the sector couldn’t escape the downward momentum of the overall market. Among the biggest losers in the cable landscape on Thursday were Time Warner Inc. (down 39 cents each or 2.6%); Time Warner Cable (down 45 cents or 1.7%) and Comcast (down 65 cents or 3.4%). The rest of the MSOs didn’t fare much better—Charter Communications lost 5 cents a share on Thursday, dipping to $1.07 per share; Cablevision Systems fell 80 cents (3.4%) to $22.86 per share and Mediacom Communications dipped 1 cent (0.2%) to $5.44 each.
Satellite TV giants Dish Network and DirecTV Group also took big hits during the day, closing at $29.09 (down $1.25 each) and $25.76 (down 57 cents), respectively, on Thursday.
Content providers also took a big hit, with News Corp. reaching a new 52-week low of $16.18 per share (compared to its previous low of $16.38), down 56 cents per share.
Viacom, which has fallen about 20% so far this year, shed another 71 cents each on Thursday, closing at $31 per share. E.W. Scripps—which is planning to split into two separate companies on July 1—fell $1.04 per share (2.4%) to $42.79 each and The Walt Disney Co. dipped 96 cents each (2.95%) to close at $31.53 per share. Discovery Holding Co. shed $1.19 per share (4.98%) to close at $22.71 each.