Home Shopping Network Inc. was the second-most active issue on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, after a huge, single 3-million share trade at midday.
By the market close, Home Shopping was up 50 cents to $10.50 _ another five-year high _ and total volume in the St. Petersburg-based television retailer's stock hit nearly 5.5-million shares.
The identities of the parties to the large stock sale were unclear Thursday. If there was a single seller, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows three possible investors with sizable enough holdings.
They are RMS Limited Partnership, led by company chairman Roy M. Speer; FMR Corp., a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments; and Liberty Media Corp., the cable concern that controls the voting stock of Home Shopping.
Speer could not be reached for comment. An attorney representing Speer in an unrelated matter, James E. Felman of Tampa, said he knew nothing about the transaction.
Fidelity doesn't comment on buying and selling activity in its funds, said Judy Barnett, southeast regional manager of public relations for Fidelity Investments.
Vivian Carr, director of investor relations for Liberty, said that the Denver-based company wasn't involved in the transaction and that she had "no idea" who the parties were.
Craig Bibb, a stock analyst at Paine Webber Inc. in New York, said the upward movement in the stock may reflect Wall Street's confidence in the company's new president and chief executive, Gerald F. Hogan.
Also, he said, it's possible that "the Street smells a deal," such as the "new business opportunities" with Liberty and its affiliates that Home Shopping alluded to in an SEC filing last month.