Comcast’s [CMCSA] position atop the cable industry was solidified last week as its impressive 4Q results buoyed the entire business for a couple of days, setting off a love fest on Wall St not seen in more than a year. (Witness the title of Jessica Reif Cohen’s report: "Basically – The Outlook Appears Great"). Every MSO except for Charter [CHTR] jumped at least 5% from Wed’s close to Fri’s close. Comcast set the pace, gaining $2.72 (+10%). AOLTW [AOL] was the other big 2-day gainer, jumping 10% (+$1.05). Up 5%: Cox [COX] (+$1.42), Cablevision [CVC] (+87 cents), Insight [ICCI] (+ 54 cents) and Mediacom (+ 39 cents). Reif Cohen raised Comcast’s ’03 free-cash-flow estimate to $515mln (22 cents) from $85mln (4 cents). Banc of America’s Doug Shapiro was equally optimistic: "Every indication so far is that Comcast couldn’t have handled the first 100 days of the integration much better." Blaylock’s Mark Zadell raised Comcast to "buy" from "hold." A note of caution: CIBC’s Alan Bezoza reserved judgement, saying he lacked data on sub retention programs and voice sub losses.

The Daily


Some Operators Ending QAM Video, Forcing IPTV Switch

While many consumers are choosing to drop traditional cable video service, a few operators, including Cable One and GCI, are giving them a push to IP video.

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