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Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC)

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  • Fri, Feb. 27, 6:37 PM
    • Fresh off their vote for re-regulation of Internet transmissions, the five FCC commissioners will be spending mid-March on Capitol Hill answering to the GOP Congress.
    • The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding its hearing March 19, a day after the members are scheduled with the Senate Commerce Committee.
    • The chairmen of the two committees, Greg Walden and John Thune, are backing a bill that would reverse the FCC's Title II reclassification (treating Internet providers more like utilities) and substantively narrow its approach to ensuring net neutrality.
    • Following the 3-2 vote, major carriers indicated their strategy would be twofold: Lawsuits (CMCSA, T, VZ, CHTR worried about "years" of litigation); and legislative action to undo the move, with a cooperative congress apparently ready to act.
    • Other related stocks: CVC, TWC, CTL, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 66 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 1:39 PM
    • In the wake of the FCC's new regulations, key telecom and Internet stocks are tracking mostly where they were prior to the vote -- in part due to the fact that the vote's likely outcome was baked in, but also because details (including any late changes) are yet to be published.
    • The FCC majority must review and respond to the dissenters before publishing the result, which they will provide on the Web when it's ready.
    • Key stocks largely unchanged from the morning: Comcast (CMCSA -1.2%), Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.9%), Cablevision (CVC +1.3%), Charter (CHTR -1%), Centurylink (CTL +0.4%), Frontier (FTR +0.9%), Cogent (CCOI -1%).
    • AT&T (T +0.9%); Verizon (VZ +0.4%); Dish Network (DISH -0.6%); DirecTV (DTV +0.1%).
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) -- whose traffic is such that the regulatory difference in its delivery costs may mean as much as $100M/year -- is up 1.6%. Interconnection fees may yet need some clarification.
    • For its part, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) uses its old-fashioned typewriter to put out a press release for "Feb. 26, 1934" warning that rules "written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph" won't work today.
    • Speaking of Verizon: Next up will be lawsuits. Courts invalidated the FCC's last two attempts at net neutrality, most recently in January 2014.
    • Wheeler statement on vote
    • Previously: Report: AT&T, Verizon will sue FCC immediately after reclassification (Feb. 04 2015)
    | 42 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 1:01 PM
    • The FCC approves tough net neutrality restrictions on the Internet -- reclassifying broadband services under Title II of the Telecommunications Act -- on a party-line vote of 3-2.
    • Republican commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly opposed the measure.
    • To open applause, Chairman Tom Wheeler said the action is an "irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one -- whether government or corporate -- should control free and open access to the Internet."
    • Pai thinks the result of reclassification will be even less competition, and calls the rules a "Kingsbury Commitment for the digital age ... If you loved Ma Bell in the 20th century, you will love Pa Broadband in the 21st."
    • Prior to the key net neutrality vote, the commission voted along the same party lines to pre-empt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that put restrictions on municipal broadband initiatives.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, TWC, CTL, CHTR, FTR, T, VZ, NFLX, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    • Previously: FCC begins convening for historic net neutrality vote (Feb. 26 2015)
    | 62 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 10:29 AM
    • The FCC is ready to begin a meeting at which it plans a historic vote on re-regulating Internet providers, though a bit of the drama has gone out of the vote as Congressional Republicans yesterday conceded approval is likely.
    • That's not to say some things aren't still in flux this morning: Democratic commissioner Mignon Clyburn is pressing Chairman Tom Wheeler for some more clarity on one part of the proposal, and Google lobbying on the "sender pays" issue has apparently moved Wheeler to last-minute revisions.
    • The vote is expected to end 3-2 in favor of Title II regulation, along party lines.
    • Republican commissioner Ajit Pai continues his full-court press against the rules and will hold his own response press conference after the meeting.
    • Meanwhile, Wheeler's proposal may not go far enough to achieve its goals, if key loopholes remain available to service providers.
    • The FCC will start meeting at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will first vote on whether to pre-empt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee restricting municipal broadband.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 24 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 2:50 AM
    • The FCC is expected to approve Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed "net neutrality" rules today, which will regulate broadband providers more heavily than in the past and restrict their power to control download speeds on the web.
    • The vote comes after a year of jostling between net neutrality advocates and cable and telecom companies, which are expected to launch a volley of lawsuits should the new rules be passed.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 66 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 12:25 PM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is "optimistic" it will close its $45B acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) in "early 2015," and CEO Brian Roberts' comment on today's earnings conference call that there's "lots of information-gathering" between Comcast and regulators is likely an understatement.
    • Roberts hopes that as soon as the FCC handles this week's vote on re-regulation (a stance he calls "antiquated"), the commission can turn its attention to the TWC transaction.
    • As part of its Cable Communications revenue (up 6.1% to $11.3B), Comcast noted a 9.9% increase in revenue from high-speed Internet (to $2.9B), which outpaced Video (up 1.3% to $5.19B).
    • And while NBCUniversal revenues were up 2.3%, that was mitigated by a revenue slip in filmed entertainment -- down 10.6% to $1.3B -- as home entertainment revenue slipped. Theme parks carried the day for this division, up 30% to $735M.
    • The company dropped some hints about how it might move into WiFi-fueled services, like Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) has, and has deployed about 8.3M hotspots, in-home and outdoors: “We do believe in the asset and [are] working on ways on bringing it to market in the coming months," says Cable CEO Neil Smit, noting it might even evolve into a new business. Comcast has MVNO relationships with Sprint and Verizon.
    • Currently, CMCSA up 1.7%.
    • Q4 earnings
    • Previously: Comcast beats on revenue as cable sales grow 6% (Feb. 24 2015)
    | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 3:59 AM
    • Republicans are increasing pressure on the FCC to delay Thursday's net neutrality vote, saying the public needs time to see and review the plan.
    • The proposal has been subject to heated battle since Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed reclassifying broadband from a lightly regulated information service to a more strictly overseen telecommunications service.
    • Supporters of the approach say that without such rules, broadband companies could charge tolls to websites for their fastest speeds, while critics say the plan would give the agency the authority to regulate pricing.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 31 Comments
  • Fri, Feb. 20, 5:03 PM
    • Delays may be in store for two very high profile mergers -- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), and AT&T (NYSE:T) with DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) -- as a federal court weighs a dispute over an FCC decision to provide deal opponents access to sensitive documents.
    • Content companies are arguing that letting merger opponents like Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) see hundreds of thousands of pages on their programming-negotiation pricing and strategies "would be highly damaging."
    • Content lawyer Robert Long says the FCC is "totally unprecedented" in providing the docs; the FCC responds that strong protections are in place and the details about buying power in programming are important in getting informed third-party input to consider approving the deals.
    • Judges reacted with skepticism toward the FCC's argument, but with no inkling of when they might rule, the timetable for the mergers may have to move later.
    • More coverage of Comcast-TWC merger
    • More on an AT&T/DirecTV deal
    | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 18, 11:14 AM
    • In more details from 13Fs: John Paulson's Paulson & Co. closed its entire stake in Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) by Dec. 31.
    • Paulson had a stake of 26.7M shares ($927.6M at today's price), which made up 3.65% of the fund's portfolio.
    • The fund did add nearly 320K shares to its T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) stake.
    • Paulson also added to stakes in Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), boosting that stake by 18%, and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), adding 9% to that stake.
    • VOD shares are down 2.1% today, and are now up just 1.6% YTD.
    | Comment!
  • Tue, Feb. 17, 11:11 AM
    • Telecom analyst Craig Moffett sees not enough bad news priced in (and too much good), and has downgraded key cable stocks (CMCSA, CHTR, TWC) to Neutral from Buy.
    • He's still got a Sell rating on Cablevision (CVC -5%).
    • “With the stocks having largely achieved our target prices, with cord cutting risks mounting and with regulation clouding the path forward in broadband, it seems to us to be time to reduce exposure," Moffett says.
    • He lowers his estimate of a successful Comcast-TWC merger to 60% given increasing public attention and sentiment against the combination.
    • And he doesn't mince words about Title II treatment: "At its core, Title II is about price regulation ... It would be naive to believe" that the rules changes won't introduce risk to pricing power.
    • Current action: (CMCSA -1.5%), (CHTR -1.6%), (TWC -1.5%)
    • Previously: Telecom stocks soar as FCC's Wheeler advocates utility stance on regulation (Feb. 04 2015)
    • Previously: AT&T's Stephenson: Litigating FCC rules 'quite certain' (Feb. 13 2015)
    | 2 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 7:06 PM
    • Following earnings, Time Warner's (TWX +2.8%) got another challenge ahead in negotiations for programming renewals with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC).
    • With distributors slimming down packages (and programming costs), economies of scale are likely to play in Time Warner's favor vs. smaller programmers.
    • The same dynamic is driving chatter around a CBS merger with Viacom (VIA, VIAB) or even TWX -- the need for size to get more mojo in negotiations with stingier distribution channels.
    • An increasing factor is the gradual unbundling of programming from traditional distributors through services like Sling TV, or subscription services from CBS and HBO.
    • TWX's outlook looks increasingly dependent on accelerating revenue growth -- "which is likely to require successful renegotiation of the last two major domestic (pay-TV) deals and highly successful box office performance," says Pacific Crest's Andy Hargreaves.
    • Previously: Dish opens Sling TV signups for all U.S. viewers (Feb. 09 2015)
    | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 2:08 PM
    • Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) declares $0.75/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 2.03%
    • Payable March 16; for shareholders of record Feb. 27; ex-div Feb. 25.
    | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Feb. 9, 4:00 AM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable's (NYSE:TWC) $45B merger still remains in limbo, with the DOJ and FCC scrutinizing the deal and Tom Wheeler's new net neutrality proposal.
    • Investors began betting against the combination late last month, with shares of both companies falling sharply before recovering last week.
    • If regulators allow the deal as is, the merged company would control about 35% of the country’s broadband Internet service coverage and just under 30% of pay television subscribers.
    • Previously: Concerns grow over Comcast/Time Warner Cable combo (Feb. 02 2015)
    • Previously: FCC pauses review of Comcast-Time Warner merger (Dec. 23 2014)
    | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 4, 11:42 AM
    • Breakdown of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's op-ed on net neutrality: "Enforceable, bright-line rules" that ban paid prioritization ("fast lanes") and blocking/throttling of services, including for mobile broadband.
    • The investment key for related stocks: "All of this can be accomplished while encouraging investment in broadband networks. ... My proposal will modernize Title II, tailoring it for the 21st century, in order to provide returns necessary to construct competitive networks. For example, there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, no last-mile unbundling."
    • FCC voting is scheduled for Feb. 26.
    • Related stocks: (CMCSA +2.8%); (CVC +2%); (TWC +3.1%); (T +0.6%); (VZ +0.7%); (CHTR +4.3%); (DISH +2.6%); (DTV +1%); (CCOI +3.9%)
    | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 4, 11:31 AM
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released an op-ed hinting at the commission's new stance on net neutrality rule -- and it suggests utility-like regulation for fixed and wireless broadband.
    • "This week, I will circulate ... proposed new rules to preserve the Internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression. This proposal is rooted in long-standing regulatory principles, marketplace experience, and public input received over the last several months."
    • Wheeler calls directly for Title II authority in "the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC."
    • Stocks on the move: (CMCSA +3.3%); (CVC +2.9%); (TWC +4%); (T +0.8%); (VZ +0.7%); (CHTR +4.3%); (DISH +3.3%); (DTV +1.2%); (CCOI +4.3%)
    | 20 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 3, 12:06 PM
    • Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) is up 2.3% after Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed its Buy rating on the stock ahead of Charter's Thursday earnings report.
    • Canaccord thinks Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) purchase will get done, sending 1.4M customers Charter's way as the combined Comcast-TWC divests them.
    • Canaccord's $182 price target is a 15.5% premium to Charter's current trading price of $157.59.
    | Comment!
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Company Description
Time Warner Cable Inc provides video, high-speed data and voice services. The Company also offers security and home management services, networking and transport services and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services.
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States