Cable One Raises $400M in New Stock Offering

CableOne said Monday it has started a public offering of about $400 million in new stock, with the proceeds going to pay down debt and for other corporate purposes, including possible acquisitions.

Cable One said it also has given its underwriters the option of purchasing an additional $60 million in shares through the offering.

J.P. Morgan Securities, BofA Securities and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.

CableOne shares have been one of the top performers in the cable selector for years, rising about 80% in 2019. The stock, up nearly 30% so far this year, was down slightly (1.6%) in afternoon trading Tuesday.

Cable One hasn’t been shy about purchasing other cable companies in the past -- it bought Fidelity Communications in 2019 for about $525.9 million -- but it is unclear as to what properties it would or could acquire. In its conference call with analysts to discuss Q1 results, chief financial officer Steve Cochran said the company would remain disciplined in any transaction, adding that it has had “a variety of things in process,” but that nothing new is happening yet.

“I think there is probably still some level of waiting to see what the markets are going to do from a debt standpoint and another before certain people jump in with opportunities,” Cochran said on the call.

Nevertheless, he said Cable One is interested in “broadband-related acquisitions and investment opportunities in rural markets, as well as capital projects intended to drive long-term growth,” adding that the company also believes there will be opportunities going forward.