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Citi Highlights A Couple 'Unique Figures' Driving Charter's Growth Story

Citi Highlights A Couple 'Unique Figures' Driving Charter's Growth Story
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The acquisition by Charter Communications Inc (NASDAQ: CHTR) of Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House offers investors “a unique opportunity,” Citi’s Jason B Bazinet said in a report.

Terming Charter as a unique growth story, analyst Jason Bazinet said that it was led by two unique figures – Operations would be overseen by Tom Rutledge, “one of the most astute operators in the industry” and the capital structure would likely be influenced by Dr. John Malone, “who uses levered equity returns to enhance returns.”

Related Link: Morgan Stanley Overweight Charter, Sees +35% Of Market Cap To Be Bought Back

Bazinet noted that Tom Rutledge had performed “small miracles” at Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) and would now be applying his skills to 48 million homes. Dr. Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Group (NASDAQ: LMCA), now has more than a 25 percent voting stake in the second largest US cable firm.

Closing The Gap

“Our favorite cable metric is EBITDA less capex per home passed or unlevered FCF (UFCF),” Bazinet wrote. The monthly UFCF of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) stood at $18 in 2015, about $7 higher than Charter. Over the next four years, this gap is expected to narrow to ~$1.

The analyst expects the drivers of closing the gap to include:

  • Programming synergies of $1.3 billion
  • Cost synergies of $0.4 billion
  • Operational improvements of $1.5 billion

Maintained a Buy rating for Charter, while raising the price target from $220 to $270.

Latest Ratings for CHTR

Feb 2018BarclaysMaintainsUnderweightUnderweight
Feb 2018Wells FargoUpgradesMarket PerformOutperform
Dec 2017BuckinghamInitiates Coverage OnBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for CHTR
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Citi Jason B BazinetAnalyst Color Long Ideas Price Target Reiteration Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga


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