Wall Street Analyst: Pay TV Subscriber Outlook

Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger predicts that pay TV subscribers will decline by 200,000 in 2012 due to “cord-avoiders” and “cord-nevers”. Cord-avoiders are previous subscribers who have disconnected their service to save money in touch economic times. Cord-nevers are the portion of the population who has never subscribed to pay TV and use alternative sources such as YouTube (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Hulu (NYSE:DIS)(NASDAQ:NWSA) for free entertainment.

Anninger goes on to say the longer the economy stay weak, the harder it will be to get cord-avoiders to return. Cord-nevers will be even harder to attract since their boycott of pay TV is based on a core belief. “These are tomorrow’s householders that are in their teens (and younger) today. They are growing up in an Internet-based video culture, in which the mantra of ‘why pay for TV?’ and ‘pay TV is a rip-off,’ develop,” said Anninger per The Hollywood Reporter.

Although the last 12 months saw little change in pay TV subscriptions, Anninger believes that is not an adequate performance to overcome the challenges that the industry faces.  The Hollywood Reporter quoted Anninger who said, “Over the same period, however, occupied households have grown by 1.25 million. In turn, pay TV penetration has fallen from 84.1 percent in the third quarter of 2010 to 83.2 percent.”

Here’s how cable companies, satellite providers, and video stocks are trading:

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $631.22, up $10.86, or 1.75%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $642.96. Volume today was 1,010,779 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,159,290 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 21.52, while trailing earnings are $29.34 per share.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS): DIS shares recently traded at $37.30, up $0.69, or 1.88%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $28.19 to $44.34. Volume today was 1,755,184 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 13,005,200 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.80, while trailing earnings are $2.52 per share.

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA): NWSA shares recently traded at $17.93, up $0.33, or 1.88%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $13.38 to $18.35. Volume today was 3,169,278 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 23,888,500 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 17.60, while trailing earnings are $1.02 per share.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX): NFLX shares recently traded at $68.64, up $2.27, or 3.42%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $62.37 to $304.79. Volume today was 2,243,939 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 10,067,000 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 15.60, while trailing earnings are $4.40 per share.

Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH): DISH shares recently traded at $27.28, up $1.07, or 4.08%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $17.95 to $32.56. Volume today was 1,654,558 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,611,810 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 8.36, while trailing earnings are $3.26 per share.

DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV): DTV shares recently traded at $47.74, up $0.92, or 1.96%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $39.12 to $53.40. Volume today was 1,207,556 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,739,910 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.88, while trailing earnings are $3.21 per share.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA): CMCSA shares recently traded at $23.50, up $0.14, or 0.6%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.19 to $27.16. Volume today was 3,496,940 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 19,749,800 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 16.91, while trailing earnings are $1.39 per share.

Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC): CVC shares recently traded at $15.19, up $0.05, or 0.33%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $14.18 to $38.08. Volume today was 539,821 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,098,970 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 12.73, while trailing earnings are $1.19 per share.

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC): TWC shares recently traded at $64.52, up $0.72, or 1.13%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $57.15 to $80.86. Volume today was 863,672 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,820,010 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.90, while trailing earnings are $4.33 per share.