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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