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Updated: Cablevision Tells Investors ‘No More Acquisitions’; Harbinger Takes 4.9 Percent Stake

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Cablevision management has been meeting with key investors as it explores various strategies for lifting its share price. The Long Island-based cable operator said earlier this month that it would consider a variety of options to this effect, including asset sales. While it hasn’t done anything definitive yet, it has promised investors that it would cool down on acquisitions, according to WSJ. This makes sense, as the company’s perceived freespending ways contributed to its declining share price throughout much of the year. The company also claimed that the acquisitions of the Sundance Channel and Newsday arose from “special situations”, though it’s not clear what they meant by that.

Either way, the new message is clearly getting across. Cablevision shares have been up over 50 percent just since July 14, when they hit a low below $20 per share. They closed yesterday at $30.96. Now the company just has to make good on the changes the market is now expecting.

Update: Some interesting subtext to Cablevision’s overtures… As noticed by Pali’s Rich Greenfield, activist fund Harbinger has taken a 4.9 percent stake in Cablevision (NYSE: CVC). The holding, disclosed in its 13-F filed today, makes the firm the fifth biggest outside shareholder. Note that last quarter, the company didn’t have any holdings in Cablevision, though beyond that, the timing of the purchases was unknown. Harbinger, of course, mounted an aggressive campaign for board representation at NYTCo (NYSE: NYT), which ultimately resulted in a settlement.