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Comcast Stock Rose on Monday amid Supreme Court Ruling

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Mar. 24 2020, Updated 11:45 a.m. ET

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) stock rose 2.40% on Monday to $34.17. The gain came on the same day that the Supreme Court sided with Comcast in a high-stakes racial discrimination case. Although the stock started the year on a positive note, it has taken a blow from the coronavirus-induced sell-off. At the closing on Monday, Comcast has fallen 24% for the year. Other media stocks like Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), Altice USA (NYSE:ATUS), and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) have fallen for the year.

Comcast finished Monday trading at more than a 28% discount to its 52-week high of $47.74.

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Favorable court decision boosts interest in Comcast stock

The Supreme Court ruled that a lower court used the wrong test in approving television entrepreneur Byron Allen’s racial bias lawsuit against Comcast, CNBC reported. As a result, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court for a second look.

Allen runs a media and entertainment company called “Entertainment Studios.” In 2015, he sued Comcast for racial discrimination after the company refused to carry his company’s channels.

Comcast rejected the channels because of bandwidth constraints and its preference for news and sports coverage. However, Allen thought that there was a racial bias in Comcast’s decision to reject his channels. Allen sued Comcast for $20 billion. He filed a similar case against Charter in 2016. Charter stock rose 2.71% on Monday.

The Supreme Court’s ruling boosted investors’ hope that Comcast could defeat Allen’s racial discrimination case and escape the potentially expensive penalty.

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Comcast works to broaden its business

In recent years, Comcast has worked to expand and diversify its business as it pursues new growth opportunities. In 2017, the company entered the wireless market with Xfinity Mobile, which sells wireless phone plans in Comcast’s footprint. Xfinity Mobile finished 2019 with 2.1 million subscribers and generated $1.2 billion in revenue last year. The recent sell-off has left Comcast stock down about 10% from where it was when it launched Xfinity Mobile.

In 2018, Comcast bought British broadcaster Sky in a $40 billion transaction. The Sky acquisition is part of Comcast’s efforts to extend its global reach. Before the Sky purchase, international operations contributed just 9.0% of Comcast’s total revenue. The company said that the international business would contribute 25% of its revenue after adding Sky.

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