NEW YORK (
Time Warner Cable
hit a 52-week high on Wednesday ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings report, which is scheduled to be released on Thursday before the market opens.
Shares spiked to $68.92 in morning trading and are currently trading up about 0.4% to just below $68.20.
The cable company is set to release its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings report Thursday, Jan. 27. Analysts polled by
estimate earnings will come in at $1 a share.
According to data compiled by
, 27 research analysts give the company a buy rating, while 7 rate the stock as neutral. There are currently no "sell" ratings on the stock.
Analyst Matthew Harrigan with Wunderlich Securities maintains his buy rating and $75 price target on the stock.
Harrigan expects a 4.5% growth in sales to $4.74 billion to drive Time Warner Cable's operating income before depreciation and amortization up 4.9% to $1.79 billion, he said in his Jan. 26 research note.
While he expects the company to lose 158,000 subscribers due to a recent
cord cutting and over-the-top video trend
, he projects that the company will add 29,000 total new subscribers due to expected gains in its high speed Internet and voice services.
In the third quarter of 2010,
. Analysts had expected a profit of 89 cents a share.
The company's subscription revenue was up 4.5% and advertising revenue jumped 22.5% in the third quarter. Management said it expects full-year earnings to come in above its previously projected $3.50 a share, senior executive vice president and CFO Robert Marcus said on the company's quarterly conference call. Earnings for the 2009 fiscal year came in at $3.05
Harrigan expects 2010 full-year earnings to come in at $3.59 a share while analyst Laura Martin with Needham projects earnings will come in at $3.55 a share.
Martin has a buy rating on the stock and raised her 12-month price target of $80 from $65. She lowered her estimate for revenue generating unit, or subscriber, additions in the quarter to 63,000 from her previously projected 78,000, "to reflect a continued weak housing market resulting in higher vacancies," she said in a Jan. 25 research note.
Analyst James Goss with Barrington Research also gives Time Warner Cable a buy rating and an $80 price target. He estimates that the company will report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.10 a share on total revenue of $4.81 billion.
He also projects fiscal 2010 earnings to be $3.65 per share, with an anticipated revenue of $18.88 billion.
"Our 2010 EPS figure is higher than the full-year consensus estimate of $3.56, due to our more optimistic expectations in the fourth quarter," he said in his Jan. 25 research note to investors.
Rival pay-TV companies such as
are scheduled to release their earnings reports in late February and early March.
On Feb. 24, Cablevision is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share. Dish, which isn't set to report its earnings until March 1, is expected to report a profit of 53 cents a share.
--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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