Cable Operator Altice USA's Stock Rises 5 Percent in Market Debut

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Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei

The owner of Cablevision and Suddenlink had priced its IPO at $30 per share, raising $1.9 billion, making it the second-largest U.S. stock launch behind Snap.

The stock of cable operator Altice USA, the U.S. arm of Patrick Drahi's European pay TV and telecom giant Altice, rose in its market debut on Thursday.

The company, which owns the former Cablevision Systems and a controlling stake in smaller cable firm Suddenlink, had late Wednesday priced its initial public offering of more than 63.9 million shares, up from the previously targeted 46.6 million, at $30 after previously targeting a price of $27-$31.

That meant the IPO raised about $1.9 billion and became the second-largest U.S. stock market launch of the year behind Snap and the largest telecom IPO in 17 years, according to CNBC.

The stock opened on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol ATUS at $31.60, up 5.3 percent, and as of 10:20 a.m. ET traded at $31.96. 

The IPO is seen as giving the company, already the fourth-largest U.S. cable operator behind Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Communications, a currency in the form of its stock that it could use to help it make further acquisitions. "With its new currency, we expect Altice USA will be active in system consolidation," Telsey Group analyst Tom Eagan wrote in a report last month.

After the IPO, Altice owns 70.3 percent of Altice USA's common stock, representing 98.3 percent of the voting power.

Altice USA, led by CEO Dexter Goei, serves approximately 4.9 million residential and business customers across 21 states.