Tech drive boosts TCI stock

Tele-Communications Inc. is reaping enormous benefits from its foray into new technology.

The nation’s largest MSO saw its stock soar 7.4% yesterday after a presentation to institutional investors and Wall Street analysts.

Shares moved up sharply on heavy volume, adding $ 1.625 to close at $ 23. 625, a new 52-week high.

Other cablecasters who gave remarks were also buoyed, setting new highs. Comcast Corp. climbed $ 1.75 to $ 21.50 and Viacom added $ 1.375 to $ 45.25

Most of the talk from TCI’s senior veepee for finance, Bernard Schotters, focused on the expected rewards from providing cable service with upwards of 500 channels. Last month, TCI announced it was rolling out new transmission and TV set-top boxes with the capability of compressing and decompressing program signals (Daily Variety, Dec. 3, 1992)

The new services, said Schotters, would give a significant boost to TCI’s cash flow. The first additional channels, he noted, would be given over to pay-per-view pix.

“They could double their cash flow in the next five years,” said John Field, an analyst with Denver’s Hanifen, Imhoff Inc. “Even with a lower number, it would be $ 2.50 per subscriber in additional cash flow for par-per-view.”

Moreover, TCI expects to weather increased reregulation handily by selling services separate from its basic cable offerings.

“They have a lot of services not related to cable, like digital music,” noted Field. “They may charge more as a stand-alone service.”

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