Shares of Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) have fared extremely poorly since last October, when shareholders walked away from a $36.26 per share management-led buyout offer. It’s currently off about 25 percent since then, although at one point, the stock was down 40 percent. Now the controlling Dolan family has hired Bear Stearns to help explore value creating moves, according to a NYP report. Among the options on the table: a sale of its Rainbow Media unit, which includes cable networks IFC, WE and AMC, home of the hit TV show Mad Men. The unit may be worth up to $3 billion. Additionally, the company is open to various acquisitions, including digital properties, other cable networks and music venues.
– Responding to the report, Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett likes the sale idea, noting that Rainbow Media could be worth $10-$12 per CVC share, leaving the core business trading at a cheap valuation. Conversely, but not surprisingly, Moffett does not like the part about how the company is also interested in acquisitions. He also notes that a major divestiture could allow the Dolans to make another run at buying the company, a possibility that otherwise looks unlikely given the changed credit markets.