Shares of the three biggest U.S. cable companies, Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Charter Communications (CHTR) are all up by double digits this year -- with the exception of Cablevision (CVC) which has slumped 33% in the last 12 months -- on rising dividend payouts. While competition from the Internet, smartphones and tablets is a meaningful threat. Barron’s Technology Trader columnist Tienan Ray says, "It appears that investors can't get enough of a moldy old business that has committed itself to paying out whatever cash it comes by." Ray contends that the only real threat to this "cable party" is a broad-based return to favor of tech stocks generally -- which he says would make "sleepy old cable a bit too quaint for some investors." Ray doesn't expect such a rally anytime soon.
- Time Warner Cable
- Charter Communications