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Little Means a Lot for Charter

Banc of America Securities LLC analyst Doug Shapiro initiated coverage of Charter Communications Inc. with a "buy" rating and a 12-month price target of $27 per share. Charter-which has been hit hard as cable stocks have declined in general this year-nevertheless benefits from a strong management team and the backing of Microsoft Corp.

cofounder Paul Allen, Shapiro wrote in a report. Shapiro also wrote that because Charter trades in the middle of the 11 to 16 times cash-flow multiple of its peer group and has a high financial leverage and a small portfolio of noncable assets, "The multiple only needs to appreciate a little for the stock to appreciate a lot." Charter shares closed at $11 May 23, down 94 cents each.