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Insight gains cash on 1st trading

Cabler to be nation's eighth largest with some 1 million subscribers

Investors pumped cash into independent cabler Insight Communications Co. on Wednesday as the company’s shares jumped 27% on their first day of trading to close at $30.88.

Insight’s opening proves that cable is still red hot as a wave of mergers continue to sweep the sector and players roll out new services.

The New York company’s initial public offering of 23 million shares was priced at $24.50, raising $563 million that Insight execs said could be used to grow the business. Wall Street, however, still sees Insight as a highly attractive takeover target by a larger player.

The company now trades on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol ICCI.

Including pending transactions, Insight will be the nation’s eighth largest cable operator with some 1 million subscribers. The group, founded in 1985, has about 525,000 subs in California, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia.

Like other cable companies, Insight is working to expand its offerings to include high-speed Internet access, digital cable and telephony services.

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