Shares of U.S. cable companies rose at the end of the week on continued talk that media mogul John Malone is pushing to orchestrate a deal between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.
Time Warner Cable's stock advanced 3.9% to $112.48 at the close of trading in New York on Friday, after jumping 4.4% Thursday.
Ever since Malone's Liberty Media acquired a 27% stake in Charter, analysts, investors and financial reporters have speculated that an industry consolidation may be underway, led by the pioneering executive.
But though Wall Street is cheering, it remains to be seen whether Time Warner Cable is on board with the idea. The company has declined to comment publicly on all the talk, and insiders there have indicated there is little enthusiasm for a combination with Charter.
Time Warner Cable isn't the only pay-TV distributor Charter may be eying. Cablevision Systems Corp. has also been mentioned as a potential target. However, Cablevision is tightly controlled by the Dolan family, which could make a sale difficult if they are not on board.
Cablevision shares rose 3.3% to $16.81 Friday, building on Thursday's gain of 5.6%.
The speculation also boosted shares of Comcast Corp. 3.6 % to $41.73 Friday.