Comcast (CMCSA), the nation’s largest cable company, hit a 52-week low today at $23.13. AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are within pennies of their annual highs.
It was not supposed to work out this way. As Barron’s has pointed out, cable still have almost all of the video customers and also has a lead in broadband. Big cable has been taking voice customers from the telephone companies by the hundreds of thousands, offering VoIP as a cheaper alternative.
Comcast’s COO recently pointed out the Verizon fiber-to-the-home product was a competitor. But, it appears that it is taking mostly analog subscribers from cable or getting upgrades from the phone company’s DSL base.
Wall St.’s logic is often perverse. It appears to be that way with Comcast. Because it has most of the market share for home video, it has the most to lose, whether there is strong evidence that it will lose it or not. Verizon has something to gain. But, It only has a few hundred thousand video subscribers and it is too early in the cycle to see if these people will stick. The company has committed $23 billion to its FiOS effort.
The logic may be perverse, but it is killing Comcast’s share price.
Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.