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Charter dips more

Kent ankling had nothing to do with RCN, co. sez

HOLLYWOOD — Shares in Charter Communications fell for a second trading sesh Tuesday following news of CEO Jerald Kent’s ankling, as analysts cut ratings on the stock and the cabler denied speculation of a flap over a possible merger.

Initially, analysts suggested Kent was ankling because he disagreed with Charter’s controlling shareholder, Paul Allen, over whether to combine the No. 4 U.S. cable systems operator with smaller, Allen-owned cabler RCN. But the St. Louis-based company said its chief exec’s departure had nothing to do with RCN.

“There has been no dialogue with RCN, nor is any planned,” Charter exec veep Kent Kalkwarf said Tuesday. “The source of this speculation is unknown to us.”

Neither Charter nor Kent has said what did prompt the announcement Monday that the topper would segue into a consultancy post.

Banc of America, Goldman Sachs and A.G. Edwards all cut ratings on Charter on Tuesday. Janco raised its rating on the stock to “buy.”

Charter share price, which hit a 52-week low after shedding almost 20% on Monday, dropped another 4.6% Tuesday.

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