Comcast Corp. withdrew its bid for The Walt Disney Co. Wednesday.
Ciiting opposition by the Disney management and board, Comcast president Brian Roberts said: "We have always been disciplined in our approach to acquisitions. Being disciplined means knowing when it is time to walk away. That time is now."
In february, Disney’s board unanimously rejected Comcast’s offer as inadequate, in part because Comcast’s initial $66 billion stock swap offer had dropped to around $55 billion on a slide in Comcast's share price
Roberts pointed out that the move will free up the company to go ahead with a previously announced $1 billion stock re-purchase.
The decision could also free Comcast to make a play for Adelphia, or a part of it. The company is on the block and Comcast is among a number of operators who would love to snag its 1.3 million-subscriber metro Los Angeles operation. Adelphia executives said last week the company will not be sold piecemeal.
Comcast also released its first-quarter numbers showing cash-flow growth of over 21%.
It reported net income of 3 cents per share for the first quarter ended March 31. That compares to a loss of 16 cents per share in first-quarter 2003.
Cable revenue for the company was up 9.8% to $4.647 billion. Ad revenue was up 14.5% to $269 million. Driving most of that was a 23.9% boost in regional/national advertising, which it attributes to growth of its regional interconnect business. Local ad sales were up 6.9%.