Tuesday, October 10, 2006


According to the WSJ, for Dolan family, the time appears ripe for its $7.9bn bid to take Cablevision (CVC) private: The co has been beating most phone co’s and satellite-TV operators in the battle for video, phone and Internet customers. That's also why the bid could fail. The Dolans have taken Cablevision shareholders on a financial roller-coaster ride over the years, and some institutional investors say they are reluctant to sell now that the outlook is brightening. "I'm getting tired of mgmt and private-equity firms trying to steal co’s from underneath our noses, and I think this is another example of that," says John Linehan, of T. Rowe Price, which holds more than 2m Cablevision shares. "Shareholders have been asked to sit through a fairly fallow period of time. As things are beginning to look up, a lot of our upside is being taken away from us."

According to the WSJ’s “Heard on the Street” column, when Vodafone (VOD) recently named Vittorio Colao as its deputy CEO, many investors viewed it as a rare bright spot for a co battling a string of negative developments, a limp stock price and angry shareholders. But some investors say the arrival this week of Mr. Colao, a seasoned and respected manager, is just one of a number of reasons why they now view Vodafone as a stock worth having another look at. Not only is the stock cheap by some measures, supporters say, but Vodafone also is showing some signs that it might be able to withstand the competitive pressures on call prices better than previously thought. And, the co is working to address other concerns, including dumping operations in some countries that aren't viewed as core. "There's been a real sea change in the past 2 or 3 months, where the news has been consistently good," says Adam Steiner, of SVG Investment Managers, which started buying the co's shares about 6 months ago and now owns about $33.7m of Vodafone's stock.

According to the Barron’s Online “Inside Scoop” section, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) is adding to its stake in USG (USG) after investors razed the building-materials stock amid concerns over the housing mkt. Berkshire spent more than $17.1m to purchase 371K shares of USG in the open mkt. Berkshire increased its holdings to 17.07m shares, or a 19% stake. Lon Juricic, founder of StreetInsider.com, says that Buffett "has been quite aggressive with the stock being that the whole group is down because of the homebuilding and housing bubble. "It shows that he has quite a lot of faith in USG; that he sees something there that maybe a lot of other ppl don't," he adds.

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