Bernstein analyst Peter Supino downgraded Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) shares to market perform from outperform late Sunday, citing concerns about the potential for rising competition and possible new leadership at the Federal Communications Commission. While rival T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) is limited in the number of customers it could reasonably serve with its fixed wireless access internet offering, Supino still sees some risk to Charter from the telecommunications company's internet ambitions as T-Mobile is targeting 7 million to 8 million residential internet subscribers by 2025. AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), and Frontier Communications Parent Inc. (FYBR) also could pose threats with their plans for the home, he noted. Additionally, Supino points to "a rising risk of an appointment of Gigi Sohn as Chairwoman of the FCC" as Sohn "would probably pursue a form of broadband price regulation." He expects that cable stocks would fall if she were appointed to the post. "The stock's recently elevated valuation seems not to price these risks sufficiently," he wrote. Charter shares have gained 19% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen about 6%.
-Emily Bary; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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