Cable Stocks Claw Back From Title II Decline

Cable stocks continued to regain the ground they lost in the wake of President Obama’s message to move closer toward Title II regulation of broadband, with shares of all the major cable operators rising in Wednesday trading.

The stocks took a beating on Monday after the President said in a video message that he would prefer the Federal Communications Commission move closer to Title II regulation to ensure an open Internet. That news sent cable stocks into a tailspin – shares of the top MSOs were down between 3% and 6% for the day – as investors feared more onerous regulation would stifle growth.

The stocks fared better on Tuesday, with Comcast and Charter posting tiny gains (1 cent and six cents per share, respectively) while other stocks in the space tempered their losses.

On Wednesday, the sector began its long climb back, with Comcast, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems and Liberty Broadband all reporting increases.

Liberty Broadband, the tracking stock that includes Liberty Media’s 26% interest in Charter Communications, was the big gainer for the day, rising as much as 4% in earlier trading before closing at $47.15 each, up 3.2% ($1.46 per share). Liberty Broadband was followed closely by Time Warner Cable, up as much as 3% before settling to close at $136.38 (up 1.2% or $1.60 each), Charter Communications, up 2.4% before closing at $149.01 (a 1.6% increase) and Comcast, up 2% before closing at $53.60 per share, a gain of 1.2%. Rounding out the sector was Cablevision Systems, which rose as high as 1% (up 14 cents each) to $18.23 before closing at $18.15, up 0.3% or 6 cents each.