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No ‘National Show Bump’ for Cable-Operator Stocks

Cable-operator stocks were down for the most part in the days during The Cable Show ’07 in Las Vegas earlier this week, with just two experiencing a rise in their share prices.

Alas, there was no “National Show Bump,” or the rise in cable stock prices that frequently happens as operators ride the wave of optimism that usually surrounds the national cable convention. Of the six publicly traded cable operators, only Mediacom Communications and Time Warner showed gains in their stock prices, with Mediacom rising 14 cents per share from May 4-9, the trading period during the show.

Time Warner ended the same period up 41 cents per share, but the rise could have been higher. The stock closed at $21.91 per share May 8 (up 61 cents from May 4), but it fell back to $21.70 May 9 after news of the arrest and subsequent firing of former HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht came out.

Time Warner Cable, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in March, lost about 80 cents per share during the show period, closing at $36.98 May 9. Comcast also dipped during the show period, falling 61 cents from May 4-9 and closing at $26.28 per share.

While there was more than enough optimism surrounding The Cable Show, the small decline in the stock prices could be explained by the fact that most of the cable operators released earnings in the weeks prior to the show and their stocks had already risen on what was mostly good news.