Comcast's next big move? Probably a stock buyback, not more M&A, analysts say

As it readies for its July 23 second-quarter earnings call, a new CFO at the helm, and its failed merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) behind it, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is preparing to be peppered with questions regarding its growth strategy going forward.

The general consensus among media investment analysts: Don't look for Comcast to race out and try to make another acquisition; instead, look for the conglomerate's next move to be something like a stock buyback.

Tech companies including Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have been enticed by low interest rates recently to issue major stock repurchases. Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar says Comcast could buy back 20 percent of its market cap over the next five years.

Comcast currently has a market capitalization of $156.12 billion.

Despite speculation that Comcast could buy T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), analysts say that it's unlikely that the No. 1 U.S. MSO will purchase a wireless company.

"With Time Warner Cable out of the picture, I think the focus will be on fundamentals, capital returns, whether the incoming CFO will have a slightly different view on leverage and future growth plans," said Amy Yong, a Macquarie Capital analyst, to Investor's Business Daily.

In May, Comcast named former Carlyle Group executive Michael Cavanagh its new chief financial officer, replacing Michael Angelakis who is shifting to oversee the company's new strategic investment unit.

Meanwhile, at an investor event later that month, Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts addressed a question about M&A by saying, "We're not feeling the need to rush out and do something."

For more:
- read this Investor's Business Daily story

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