Cablecos sinks communications stocks week, with reports of slowing user growth (NASDAQ:FB)

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Another choppy week for equities (with a particularly choppy ending) makes competition for Communications The top of the service sector wins a nice little skirmish.

Only seven of the sector’s large-cap names (market cap $10 billion or more) even made a gain for the week — with dozens more posting declines over the period.

The Communication Services Sector (XLC) SPDR Fund slipped 3.7% for the week – and that’s down 24.5% year to date.

The main declines were marked by a group that had been in decline for months: the cable companies. Communications Charter (NASDAQ: CHTR) was the worst performing Communications stock among large caps, 16.2% slippage at a two-year low. A tough Thursday after revenue from peer Comcast turned into a worse Friday, when Charter’s own report showed broadband user growth was falling significantly.

(For its part, Comcast (CMCSA) also found its two-year lows with its own earnings, and it was the fifth-worst decline, down 12.4% for the week.)

Liberty Broadband share classes accounted for two of the other three names on the deny list, with its Series C (NASDAQ: LBRDK) and Series A shares (LBRDA) down 13.3% and 13.2% respectively for the week.

The list of winners also had earning engines to thank. Meta platforms (NASDAQ:FB) was the second-best performer, with a relief rally ahead for long-term cravings and lift stock 8.9% for the week, following an earnings report that calmed investors prepared for the worst after the last quarter.

Pinterest was the fourth top earner, up 4.8%after growing in sympathy with Meta and on its own earnings report, where it exceeded revenue expectations.

And Chinese internet names have joined the winners amid reports that China may be reversing its hardline regulatory stance against the tech sector. NetEase game company (NASDAQ:NTES) was the top large-cap communications winner for the week, up 11%while Baidu (BIDU) was No. 3, with a 8.4% gain.

The top five gainers over the past five sessions among large-cap and larger communications services stocks (market cap $10 billion or more):

  • NetEase (NTES), +11%;
  • Meta platforms (FB), +8.9%;
  • Baidu (BIDU), +8.4%;
  • Pinterest (PINS), +4.8%;
  • Match Group (MTCH), +2.4%.

The top five declines over the past five sessions among large-cap and larger communications services stocks (market cap $10 billion or more):

  • Communications Charter (CHTR), -16.2%;
  • Liberty Broadband C-Series (LBRDK), -13.3%;
  • Liberty Broadband Series A (LBRDA), -13.2%;
  • Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO), -12.4%;
  • Comcast (CMCSA), -12.4%.

Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter (CHTR) are responding to the rapid growth of streaming by teaming up in a joint venture to compete with Roku, Amazon, Google and others with a new streaming hardware platform.

Garland K. Long