Comcast Faces Off With 21st Century Fox Over Sky

Analysts remain committed to Comcast stock for now

Managing Editor
Apr 25, 2018 at 10:00 AM
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Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is making headlines today, after the media giant formalized a nearly $31 billion offer for European broadcast giant Sky. The all-cash bid pits Comcast against Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), which offered roughly $26.8 billion for Sky, setting up a bidding war between the two media conglomerates. In addition to the M&A plans, Comcast also reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded analyst expectations. CMCSA stock is up 1.2% at $33.75, at last check, erasing early losses.

From a longer-term standpoint, Comcast stock has shed nearly 17% in 2018 already, and fell to an annual low of $32.74 on March 26. The shares have been in a free-fall since their Jan. 24 annual high of $44, gapping lower in late February amid buzz about a Sky bid. More recently, CMCSA stock has stagnated atop the $33 region, with its descending 20-day moving average rejecting rebound attempts. 

Despite the security's technical troubles, analysts remain entrenched in the bullish camp. Of the 18 brokerages covering CMCSA, 14 rate it a "strong buy." Furthermore, the stock's average 12-month price target of $46.52 represents a 41% premium to its current perch. A continued downtrend could force analysts to re-think their bullish positions. 

Although calls are still preferred on an absolute basis, put buying has picked up in recent weeks. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows CMCSA with a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.69, a ratio that ranks in the elevated 70th percentile of its annual range.

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