Comcast Withdraws Disney Bid

29 April 2004

A mighty sigh of relief emanated from the embattled ramparts of The Magic Kingdom Wednesday as Emperor Eisner and his unruly knights received news that cable colossus Comcast Corporation had withdrawn its unsolicited hostile bid.

Comcast's lunge at the Walt Disney Company was parried, less by Disney's defenses and more by the skepticism of Comcast's own shareholders.

Despite Wednesday's retreat, Comcast shares still languish eleven percent below their level when America's largest cable company launched its ill-starred bid on February 11.

In a piece of bad-news management that fooled no-one, Comcast's withdrawal was timed to coincide with the unveiling of its own (favorable) Q1 numbers.

Across all its cable systems, the company posted a profit of $65 million (€54.96m; £36.79m) compared with a loss of $297m in Q1 2003. Revenues hit $4.65 billion, 9.8% up year-on-year. The difference in earnings was due largely to a change in investment income.

"Being disciplined means knowing when it's time to walk away," said Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts. "That time is now." Disney said nothing -- but you could hear a chipmunkish sigh of relief as far afield as Antarctica.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff