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Comcast Dismisses Speculation of Yahoo or Sprint Nextel Bid

Date: 2/18/2008 1:22:21 PM

America’s biggest cable operator, Comcast Corp., has quashed speculation that it might bid for internet search company, Yahoo!, or wireless carrier, Sprint Nextel, stating that it does not foresee any such “transformative” acquisitions.

“We are committed to remaining disciplined,” said Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, in a conference call with analysts. “To be clear, we are not spending any time on any of the large transformative acquisitions that have been speculated about like Yahoo or Sprint.”

Yahoo! recently rejected a takeover bid from Microsoft worth an estimated US$42.1 billion, which fueled speculation that other communications and media companies might take a crack at the lagging search giant.

Comcast, however, plans to continue investing in its existing businesses. In a treat for investors, the company announced this week that it would begin paying an annual dividend, and plans to buy back $7 billion in its own stock by the end of next year.

“Investors were desperate for a sign that this company is ready to return cash to shareholders,” commented Bernstein Research analyst, Craig Moffett. “They got that in spades today.”

“By putting a defined timeline on the buyback and buying back $1.25 billion in the fourth quarter the company has clearly signaled their confidence in the future cashflow prospects of the business,” Moffett concluded.

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