Shares of Comcast Corp. were up in late-afternoon trading in the wake of a report from Bloomberg saying the Philadelphia company was likely to drop its months-long quest to absorb Time Warner Cable.
Comcast shares were up 70 cents a share, or 1.19%, to $59.46 a share, on heavy volume of 45.38 million. Average volume is 15.51 million.
Shares of Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, were off by $1.54 per share, or 1.03%, to $148.10 on heavy volume of 14.65 million a share. Average volume is 2.74 million.
The share movement suggests investors see a path forward for each company. The rise in Comcast shares could be a signal investors thought a merger would have been onerous for Comcast, which would likely have had to submit to various conditions from regulators if it wanted to move forward. Time Warner Cable may have other suitors, including Charter Communications.
The companies could move forward on their own, proposed Richard Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG Research, in a report posted yesterday. Comcast could pursue a broadband service that could attract subscribers beyond its cable base, he said, and compete with new services like Apple TV or Dish's Sling TV. Time Warner Cable, he suggested, might look to invest more rapidly in broadband while considering smaller acquisitions. Greenfield said a tie-up with Charter was not an automatic conclusion.
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