Fitch High on Cable

Fitch Ratings Ltd. is advising investors to stick with the cable industry.

In a report published Friday, the ratings agency touted the industry’s efforts at modernization and at clustering its systems.

Among highlights of Fitch’s report:

• While competition exists in the high-speed-data sector, cable MSOs are in the best position.

• Fitch sees limited government interference in 2004.

• The largest MSOs are in solid financial position for 2004, and Fitch forecast low-double-digit revenue growth and mid-teens earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization growth.

• Cable-modem services will remain the key driver of revenue and cash-flow growth for MSOs in 2004. Fitch said the sector should represent nearly 50% of revenue growth and some two-thirds of EBITDA growth.