The 2014 All-America Research Team: Cable & Satellite, No. 3: Craig Moffett

< The 2014 All-America Research TeamCraig MoffettMoffettNathansonFirst-place appearances: 7

Total appearances: 10

Team debut: 2004In May 2013, after more than ten years at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., seven-time sector champion Craig Moffett left to launch his own firm, Moffett Research, and fell from last year’s ranking. Media analyst and former Bernstein colleague Michael Nathanson joined Moffett’s boutique from Nomura Securities International that September, and both MoffettNathanson researchers earn positions on their respective lineups this year, Moffett at No. 3 and Nathanson at runner-up. Moffett is advising investors to be cautious, in general, on U.S. cable and satellite names. “There are some attractive values in the sector, but it is not the slam dunk it has been for most of the past decade,” he says. “Valuations have risen as investors have come to appreciate cable’s infrastructure advantage, and there are now real regulatory risks that color terminal values.” One cable-TV and high-speed Internet provider he does favor, however, is Charter Communications of Stamford, Connecticut. “After a series of subscriber acquisitions and system swaps with Comcast [Corp.], Charter will have the industry’s most attractive footprint, with the least overlap with fiber-based competition,” explains Moffett. “And it has the industry’s most aggressive balance sheet, amplifying equity returns.” Charter’s shares closed at $159.89 in mid-September, and the analyst forecasts a rise to $200.