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Charter Lives
Stock sees good year, despite troubles...
by Karl Bode 06:21PM Tuesday Jul 10 2007
Debt-crippled Charter Communications has been consistently ranked at the bottom of the barrel in ISP rankings both here, in the ACSI and elsewhere. There's a general consensus that they're probably one of the worst broadband providers in the business. Yet their stock has risen 275% over the last year notes 24/7 -- compared to 35% for Comcast and 80% for Cablevision, both of whom have, well -- money. As our commenters note, a small move looks huge when you're talking about inexpensive stock.

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In a meeting with investors recently, Charter Chairman Paul Allen praised the company's management team, and said VoIP deployments were going well, with the service now available to 7 million homes, up from about 3 million at the beginning of 2006 (8% take rate, says Allen).

Nothing was said about new speeds, considering the company lacks the capital for any footprint-wide upgrades. However, for what's it worth (and that might not be much), an anonymous Charter poster in our forums insists a 16Mbps tier is in testing and could be released in the coming months -- likely only in FiOS areas.

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ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

It's cause the stock is cheap

A very small move in dollars is a big percentage move.
bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus

1 edit

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

Exactly... Someone else here who sees the problem with using percentages to quantify the change in the value of some variable without also accompanying that number with actual numbers like dollars, numbers of people, etc.

edit:never post on a broken keyboard
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Prove it...
Save the Internet Time (NTP) service, use the pool.
ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

If you're talking about your stock portfolio, the percentage increase in CHTR's stock price is all that matters.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

said by ctggzg:

If you're talking about your stock portfolio, the percentage increase in CHTR's stock price is all that matters.
Yep if you bought 10,000 shares at $1 they're worth $40K now and in the end that $30K profit is all that matters.
Big Dawg 23

join:2002-03-27
Northfield, MN

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

Many may have issues with Charter but I don't. I have fewer outages in 5 yrs with Charter than with former ATT Broadband. I get my speeds that I subscribe to.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

I don't get the speeds I pay for here in Madison, WI.

More importantly for a cable TELEVISION company, the picture quality here is the worst of many places I've been in the last 10 years. The STBs are cheap, little, feature stripped, buggy motorolas.

The video on demand is woefully bad too. Well, of course this is compared to the other cable (TV/ISP) companies I've had in the last 10 years:

FiosTV/Fios ( Beaumont, CA)
Time Warner ( Garden Grove, CA & Columbus, OH)
Adelphia ( Yucaipa, CA)
Prime Cable/Cox ( Las Vegas, NV)
Charter ( Hammond, LA & St. Louis, Missouri)
DirecTV

Oh, I forgot to mention, several of the HD channels you're supposed to get when on that tier don't come in... Good thing there really isn't any real competition for them here or they'd go under. No wonder they're in last place. They're not doing anything to make themselves better.

raw
War Eagle
Premium
join:2001-01-17
Madison, AL

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

Same thing in Auburn, AL. They're a monopoly, so they can get away with crappy service and terrible uptime at far too high of prices. Nothing like a captive audience...
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[BBR]raw
America's Army
BBR Enemy Territory clan founder
Big Dawg 23

join:2002-03-27
Northfield, MN

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

I suggest you go to Auburn and attend a Economics class on business structure to see that Charter is not a Monopoly. Monopoly's are nearly impossible in the television and high speed market. You have DSL and satellite along with cable.

Just for fun because of your Avatar GO DAWGS!!

raw
War Eagle
Premium
join:2001-01-17
Madison, AL

1 edit

Re: It's cause the stock is cheap

First things first, War Damn Eagle!

Secondly, I'll concede the point about DSL (no arguments there), but for TV, the satellite option is nonexistent for most of the student population. Most of us live in apartments, so we can't mount a satellite dish externally, and less than half (if I had to guess, I'd say probably ~25%) of the apartments have windows that have a good shot at the southwestern sky (Azimuth 207.9, elevation 48.6 for DirecTV). For me, at least, it's not happening.

While it may not be a true monopoly, it's certainly close enough to one in practice.
--
[BBR]raw
America's Army
BBR Enemy Territory clan founder
markopoleo

join:2003-04-02
Bonne Terre, MO
Well Charter is not really a "cable" company anymore in terms of TV, in a couple of months they will have more Phone/HSI customers than Cable TV customers.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
said by Big Dawg 23:

Many may have issues with Charter but I don't. I have fewer outages in 5 yrs with Charter than with former ATT Broadband. I get my speeds that I subscribe to.
Exact same feeling here. Have never had any major issues with Charter in the 7 years I've been with them.

I do realize they are behind the times on speed and pricing though.
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ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA
Certainly not, because as easy as it can go up a buck and can drop a buck. Percentages don't tell you anything. It's about the VALUE of the increase on a per share basis, not the percentage of increase.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire
bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus
said by ctggzg:

If you're talking about your stock portfolio, the percentage increase in CHTR's stock price is all that matters.
Well, yeah, obviously. Of course, in the contect of my statement, I was speaking of how change by X percentage is useless unless quantified with hard numbers from a statistics standpoint...
--
Prove it...
Save the Internet Time (NTP) service, use the pool.

ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA
said by ctggzg:

If you're talking about your stock portfolio, the percentage increase in CHTR's stock price is all that matters.
We aren't talking about a stock portfolio, we're talking about a company's share value in which case percentages of change are irrelevant when not accompanied by the actual value of the stock.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire

rawgerz
The hell was that?
Premium
join:2004-10-03
Grove City, PA
It's just another stock the inside traders are using to move money..

charter_hsd

join:2001-08-07
Calera, AL

Charter's Capital

quote:
...considering the company lacks the capital for any footprint-wide upgrades.
Karl,

As someone who actually works for Charter I think your statement is patently false.

Unless you attend confidential internal meetings you couldn't possibly be in any position to make that sort of assertion with any type of authority.

However, if you comment is simply speculation on your part, then I'm cool with that. You are more than welcome to join the chorus of voices who have been predicting Charter's failure for the last seven years.

Regards.

jarablue
Always be true to yourself

join:2001-06-11
Boxborough, MA

Re: Charter's Capital

I live in Worcester, MA. When I go to the Higgins St office once a month to pay my bill, you should hear the people who are getting into arguments about their bill. At least 2 user a month while I'm in line. Of course Charter will say something different. But it's odd. EVERY MONTH at least 2 users. Odd.

TigerNutz
Laissez les bons temps rouler
Premium
join:2000-12-23
Little Rock, AR

Re: Charter's Capital

said by jarablue:

I live in Worcester, MA. When I go to the Higgins St office once a month to pay my bill, you should hear the people who are getting into arguments about their bill. At least 2 user a month while I'm in line. Of course Charter will say something different. But it's odd. EVERY MONTH at least 2 users. Odd.
No USPS up there in Worcester?

jarablue
Always be true to yourself

join:2001-06-11
Boxborough, MA
I live not even 5 minutes from the office. Why send something that will take 3 days when I can get it done within 10 minutes?

TigerNutz
Laissez les bons temps rouler
Premium
join:2000-12-23
Little Rock, AR

Re: Charter's Capital

Just seems like a PITA to stand in line and listen to people bitch.

jarablue
Always be true to yourself

join:2001-06-11
Boxborough, MA
It doesn't bother me because I don't trust Charter. The reason I do it is they charged my checking account over 400$ one month and told me they can't refund my money that it would be applied to my account. I will be damned if they take money from my checking account and tell me they can't refund their mistake. If it was a credit card then no probelm this was hard earned cash. So from now on I will wait the 4 minutes in line at 8am instead of having a drone in Mexico go apeshit with my checking info. Thanks.

TigerNutz
Laissez les bons temps rouler
Premium
join:2000-12-23
Little Rock, AR

Re: Charter's Capital

ouch!

In that case I would go with the dish...screw them!

bmfan
Premium
join:2005-03-15
Saint Helen, MI
well all just wish they would go away....
cdogg444

join:2004-10-18
Saint Louis, MO

Ummm, I work for Charter.

Seeing as you live in Pelham, AL, and Charter corporate headquarters are here in Saint Louis, I highly doubt you know what you are talking about. The reason Charter looks so good on paper, comes from the restructure of the debt to give us some breathing room, nothing more. BTW the real reason that no one has come along and bought us out, IS THE DEBT, who wants to take on what we ourselves can't fix.

charter_hsd

join:2001-08-07
Calera, AL

Re: Ummm, I work for Charter.

said by cdogg444:

Seeing as you live in Pelham, AL, and Charter corporate headquarters are here in Saint Louis, I highly doubt you know what you are talking about.
While I do live near Pelham, I work for the Alabama KMA and I deal directly with the East division staff on a fairly consistent basis.

I'm sure that I have a better feeling for what's happening then your wiling to give me credit for.

said by cdogg444:

The reason Charter looks so good on paper, comes from the restructure of the debt to give us some breathing room, nothing more.
I never stated Charter looked good on paper.

My point was simply that I don't want Karl's speculation passed off as fact.

Based on our public financial filings he can make reasonable assumptions and he is certainly free to speculate all he wants, but I feel his opinion/speculation and the facts need to be clearly identified as such.

Regards.
shoan

join:2006-02-27
Benton, AR

Re: Ummm, I work for Charter.

I would lean towards the side of thinking that karl is right on this one when Charter has areas that are not rural at all and they can not offer any services beyond basic cable. i.e. no DVR no HD no internet and no VOIP. If the company really was doing that well they would be providing more services than that. Maybe that is why no one likes Charter in this area. We get to look accross the county line and have comcast envy they type of envy you get from seeing a company offering services that drive people to subscribe and provide revenue to the company. Come on you have to admit that not even having DVR service is really bad.
bassnguitar

join:2003-09-11
Imperial, MO

Re: Ummm, I work for Charter.

I hear that, I have the same basic crap from charter. Then I look DOWN THE STREET and see charter offering everything under the sun.

coastjam
Premium
join:2001-03-05
Riverview, FL

Charter Lives

Well Paul Allen I suggest you move to California and try using your own service and see why your rated on the bottom. We had five outages during July. Oh I guess your stock would go up if you out sourced your C/S to the following:

The Philippine's
Mexico City
India
Ontario Canada

And had wait times in access of fifty minutes at a boy Paul good job to the share holders my regards to Neil your VP.
--
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Lowtarget
Premium
join:2003-12-22
Alger, OH

Re: Charter Lives

They would be fools to only place 16Mbps tier in Fios areas. What about the other Charter users out there. Take Roadrunner for a good sample.

They been upgrading there broadband lines. Even really small city towns where I live in. Now we are able to get speeds upto 15Mbps.

jarablue
Always be true to yourself

join:2001-06-11
Boxborough, MA

Re: Charter Lives

Lowtarget, Charter offers 10meg to users and in some places the only tier they offer is 3. They will put out a 16meg tier and you can guarantee it will be in FIOS competitive areas first.
rratss

join:2004-07-22
Los Angeles, CA

2 edits

it's being manipulated

Charter's stock has been manipulated by the hedge funds for years. It's all due to the convertible notes Charter issues to hedge funds because Charter is so low on cash. What did the hedge funds do? They shorted the stock to hell, triggering panic sales by all the retail traders (AKA us). That is why the stock hung around $1 for so long. It was so heavily shorted and these hedge funds, with their billions of dollars, were never obligated to cover their short sales. Now, after several years of accruing interest on the convertible notes, the hedge funds are finally covering to drive the price sky high so the convertible notes mature and they get even more money.

Here is a Wikipedia link that explains what I am talking about: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convertible_arbitrage

Whenever the share price of a company like Charter, which is so deep in debt and low in cash, becomes as volatile as it is, it's because of manipulation or rumors of big news such as a buyout. This stock will probably go even higher, possibly to $6, but if the company doesn't get bought out, it will only go back down to where it was.

••••••••

Brat75
I remember 8-tracks

join:2003-02-05
Kent, WA

So far so good

I had a serious cable / HSI issue earlier this year. After going around a few times w/ phone tech support, I went in to the local office myself. I got a supervisor, he got on the phone w/ a network engineer and we had a chat.

Since I could prove my issue was NOT at my end (my computer or my modem) the super sent out his top tech and he and I worked on this problem for about 2 weeks total.

It ended up being a new line run from drop box on bldg to my apartment JUST to bypass all the noise in the building/on the old runs.

I actually learned a lot with the top tech doing testing, we ran tests together on the network...and after the new line was run, I had 3mb/sec STEADY AS A ROCK.

I gave these guys a chance, and I'm glad I did. I'll stay with them for a while, until I move again I think. Service locally is great, phone is scripted (I know it's rules..but fgs I've got a degree in technology!) and outsourced - and the phone people don't listen that well to my stating "The internet is slow, running at 256k when it should be 3mb! I've done tests it is NOT my computer, are there known issues in the head end?"

As I said, so far, so good. I'm happy.

Brat75
--
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Mr Elephant

@whiteman.af.mil

They need to catch up

I've had charter for 3 months. They only offer their 3 mbit internet here on base, and of course no On-Demand with their TV package. It's bare minimum, and there's no other option. They own the wiring in all the buildings on base.

I pay $100/month for 3mbit cable which slows down to the point of > 1 minute to load a simple web page at nighttime, and a cable package with average basic channels and no On-Demand.

I come from just east of NYC, where it was $44/month for 15mbit down and 5mbit up. I don't care that it's a city, there are OC lines running across the country and I gaurentee through Kansas City. There is no excuse for service this mediocre or expensive.