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Cable company shares rise on higher dividends, Barron's reports

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.