Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Comcast Investors Seek Buyback, Payout as Shares Drop

Comcast Corp., the biggest U.S. cable-television provider, may have to buy back more stock or pay a dividend to satisfy investors after a 35 percent drop in the shares last year.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts should curb spending and free up cash that can be used to reward shareholders, said Pat Becker Jr., whose Becker Capital Management in Portland, Oregon, owns 1.2 million shares.

``That's the key to moving the stock,'' Becker said in an interview. ``You never get that payoff because they have to spend so much to upgrade and fend off the competitive environment.''

Comcast was the seventh-worst performer in the Nasdaq 100 Index in 2007 as a $6 billion investment in cable set-top boxes and networks failed to stem a slowdown in subscriber growth and customer defections to Verizon Communications Inc.

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