Charter Stock Soars on Verizon Sale Chatter

Charter Communications stock was up 9% in early trading Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Verizon Communications chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam has approached Charter Communications concerning a possible purchase of the cable company.

The Journal stressed that talks were preliminary and no formal offer has been made. But Verizon has been under pressure to make a big splash ever since rival telco AT&T announced its $108.7 billion deal to purchase Time Warner. That deal is still pending, but some pundits give it a better than 50-50 chance of regulatory approval.

Charter stock traded as high as $338 per share on Thursday – up 9%, or $27.69 each. The stock has since settled a bit, priced at $331.83 each, up 7% or $21.52 per share at around 9:30 a.m.

Speculation has been high that Verizon was preparing to make a move ever since the New York Post reported that McAdam was telling friends at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that he would like to buy a cable company. Comcast and Charter were two names that were said to be on McAdam’s radar, but many analysts believed a Comcast buy would never pass muster.

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