Cablevision, Dish stocks soar on deal talk

Companies make big gains on THR Showbiz 50

SAN FRANCISCO -- More deal talk Tuesday boosted shares of distribution firms Cablevision Systems and Dish Networks, making them the second- and fourth-biggest gainers, respectively, on the THR Showbiz 50 index.

Cablevision management had said last week that it would explore options to bring its stock's value in line with the strong performance of its underlying assets. On Tuesday, execs said the board has authorized the company "to take all actions necessary or desirable to evaluate and establish a policy with respect to regular quarterly dividends or stock buybacks as promptly as practicable."

It also confirmed Wall Street expectations that Cablevision will explore the spinoff of one or more businesses and other possibilities.

Cablevision shares rose 8.8% to $28.20.

Meanwhile, Dish shares closed up 7.4% at $29.98 after the Wall Street Journal said the satellite TV giant has held talks with rival DirecTV about a potential renewed merger attempt.

Such talks were expected after the recent combination of satellite radio firms Sirius and XM.

DirecTV and Dish spokespeople declined comment.