Comcast fails to sway Wall Street

Comcast continues to struggle to persuade investors its triple-play strategy is winning. Its share price is down 35 percent over the year, making it the seventh-worst performing stock on the NASDAQ 100 index. Despite a 54 percent increase in Q4 income and a dividend payment, CEO Brian Roberts is under pressure from major shareholder Chieftain Capital Management Inc., which last month called for his ouster. The offer of a dividend did spur a small rally last week with prices up 95 cents to $20.19 at market close Friday.

Roberts has overseen an aggressive $6 billion investment to equip Comcast to provide triple-pay services across its cable footprint of 40 million homes. Comcast has been the most successful non-telco in signing up customers to its digital voice and high-speed Internet offerings. It is now the fourth-largest supplier of residential telephony in the U.S. Both Verizon and AT&T's U-verse service are aggressively ramping up their IPTV roll outs, and both are expected to impact Comcast's subscriber growth in its traditional markets as well as cap its pricing.  

Roberts said Comcast expects revenue to increase 8 percent to 10 percent this year, and its capital expenditures as a percentage of revenue to decline to 18 percent in 2008. Comcast is also under tight scrutiny by the FCC, where chair Kevin Martin has singled Comcast out for special attention. He claims Comcast is too dominant as evidenced by the 10 percent average yearly pricing increases over the last decade.

For more:
- Comcast Q4 income up 54 percent Article
- Comcast investors seek buyback, payout as shares drop Article

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