Time Warner Cable Stock Spikes on Merger Talk

Sylvain Gaboury/PatrickMcMullan.com/Sipa Press/Newscom
Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt

Charter Communications is once again eyeing an acquisition of the large cable operator, according to a report.

Shares of Time Warner Cable spiked about 4 percent in late-day trading Friday on a rumor that Charter Communications was considering a bid by year's end to acquire the company.

Charter already made a play for the large cable operator and was rebuffed, though it is considering returning to the bargaining table undeterred, according to a Reuters report that cites "people familiar with the matter."

Charter is about one-quarter owned by John Malone's Liberty Media, and the telecommunications mogul has been eyeing ways to expand his cable empire.

Charter's market cap, though, was at $14 billion on Friday compared with Time Warner Cable's $35 billion.

Shares of Time Warner Cable traded for a small gain most of the day, then spiked about 4 percent an hour ahead of the closing bell. At the end of the trading session, shares were up 3 percent to $123.56.

On Thursday, Time Warner Cable reported losing 306,000 TV subscribers in the most recent quarter, with many defections blamed on the monthlong blackout of CBS owed to a carriage dispute. The company also lost 128,000 voice subscribers and 24,000 high-speed Internet subs.