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Charter leads EPS expectations for large-cap communications companies in Q4'16

Charter Communications Inc. is expected to see large gains in its reported earnings per share and revenue in the wake of the company's recent acquisitions, but the outlook is more mixed for other large-cap communications companies.

Looking at 14 companies on the SNL Kagan Large-Cap Communications Index, which includes communications companies with market capitalization of greater than $5 billion, nine are expected to report year-over-year gains in EPS, and 10 are expected to notch sequential EPS growth. Companies with fewer than two analyst estimates were excluded from the analysis of S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Expectations are particularly upbeat for Charter, which acquired Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks LLC in 2016. Analysts expect the cable giant, the fourth-largest communications company by market capitalization, to report EPS of $1.15 for the just-ended period, a turnaround from a loss of $1.21 per share reported in the comparable 2015 quarter.

Meanwhile, looking at the top three communications companies by market cap, AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and Comcast Corp. all are expected to notch year-over-year EPS gains but report lower earnings on a sequential basis.

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