Cablevision, TWC Enjoy Stock Spikes

Two major cable TV providers witnessed sharp hikes in stock prices on Wednesday.

Cablevision Systems witnessed a major 18% hike to $24.73, due to Pivotal Research Group raising its expectation of the company to a buy from a hold -- with a stock price target of $31. Its previous target was $18 a share.

Time Warner Cable saw a 5.4% hike to $166.55 on the expectation of further industry consolidation. This is in light of French telecommunications company Altice's proposed purchase for 70% of Suddenlink Communications, a mid-size cable operator of some 1.3 million cable subscribers, for $9.1 billion.

Analysts expect that Altice may make another move on Time Warner Cable. Comcast Corp. recently abandoned its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable.

At the same time, Charter Communications -- the fourth-largest U.S. cable operator -- said it was pursuing another cable operator, Bright House Networks -- the sixth-biggest U.S. cable operator -- in a $10.4 billion deal.

If the deal is completed, it would create the third-biggest U.S. cable operator behind Comcast (22 million subscribers) and Time Warner Cable (11 million). Charter has 4.3 million subscribers; Bright House, around 2 million subscribers.

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