This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 26 at 9:44 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
Time in the wilderness makes some companies very strong. I am thinking about the five years that
spent in the wilderness after being among the top five performers in the stock market for two decades.
I am thinking about how much it must have bothered these great businesspeople to have been unable to deliver what Wall Street wanted for so long. I am thinking about how the Street lost faith in these guys and decided that the bid for
was just some sort of desperate gambit to grow when growth was tapped. I am thinking about how many times management had to hear that they were being beaten by
. I am thinking about how they were considered buffoons for trying to make a plain old cable business into a real growth story.
How sweet it must be right now to work at Comcast, and how much more upside there is, considering that the stock still isn't back to where it was in 2001.
What's driving the story? So much. The triple play (cable TV, Internet, voice). The technology. The service. The lack of churn, now that people don't leave when they have their phone with Comcast. The growth from the Adelphia buy that is ahead. The
No one believed, except Brian Roberts and his team. I know I got discouraged because I just couldn't take the fact that the Street would not stick with these guys, and when I did stick with Comcast, I felt I was hurting people. I decided I couldn't get behind Comcast
it could deliver a solid triple play to my satisfaction.
That meant I missed the $26 to $30 run, but I got back on when at last, the kinks in my own triple-play service plan got worked out and I recognized that I was never going back to Verizon, ever. I know that's anecdotal, but sometimes that's what it takes to make you revisit a story. The $99 deal for cable, high-speed Internet and phone is just too fabulous.
I love it!
And as I listen to the earnings conference call this morning, to the great Steve Burke talking about the triple play and saying that this is the best quarter in eight years because of the triple play, I am thinking, "Oh man, it's me! I am taking upsell products. I have banished Verizon. I am the customer they are talking about -- as are another 30 million people coming."
I'm sure you are asking, "Is it too late to get in?"
No, no and no. There's too much growth ahead, too much profitability and too much belief -- these guys just bought back 3% of the stock in the $30s and will keep doing so.
What a great company.
By the way, we now know from Jim Stewart's
that it was Disney, not Comcast, that reached out to merge. That it wasn't lack of growth that Comcast feared; it was not taking advantage of the offer. Of course, it turned out to be a rogue offer made by the chairman, not the operating people at Disney. It was a sideshow that Disney quickly recovered from.
Put simply, Comcast is
blue-chip growth story in the entertainment industry.
It powers higher.
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At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.
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