A day after getting hammered on anticipated losses in broadband internet customers, Altice USA (NYSE:ATUS) stock was pounded again on Friday. The cable company’s shares declined by almost 7% on the back of several analyst downgrades.
Three analysts tracking Altice USA notably reduced their expectations on the stock.
UBS‘ John Hodulik lowered his price target from $40 per share to $28, although he’s maintaining his buy recommendation.
Also in the cautiously optimistic camp is Philip Cusick from JPMorgan Chase‘s J.P. Morgan, who’s keeping his overweight (read: buy) tag on Altice USA shares but cutting his price target from $40 per share to $30. His buy recommendation is due to “attractive underlying broadband asset value despite year-to-date underperformance.”
Meanwhile, the more bearish Jessica Reif of Bank of America Securities also chopped her price target, to $20 from the previous $38, while maintaining her underperform (i.e., sell) recommendation.
Those prognosticators made their adjustments after Bloomberg quoted Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei as saying at an investor conference that he anticipates his company will lose 15,000 to 20,000 broadband users this quarter (out of a total of roughly 4.4 million).
This is particularly concerning to shareholders, since internet service is considered by many to be a savior for a cable industry beset by relentless cord-cutting (as customers flock to video streaming services).
This might be a “falling knife” situation for Altice USA — after all it’s a pure-play cable and broadband provider, and is thus quite exposed to any significant broadband customer exodus. Investors should beware.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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