With the major averages now down 10% or more in the past week, analysts say that investors should turn to the unlikeliest of places -- namely Time Warner Cable ( TWC) -- to ride out the storm.

The cable industry has become attractive to investors as economic pressures continue to increase, with Time Warner Cable emerging as the favorite, thanks to a sizeable one-time payment due before the end of the year.

Some cable stocks have already displayed strength amid the market volatility of the past year. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have crumbled over the last nine months, Comcast ( CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable operator, which closed Tuesday at $17.15, has gained 2% during that time frame. Cablevision ( CVC) shares rallied 30% in August after the announcement of a dividend payment, although the stock has lately come back to Earth.

Looking ahead, the transition to digital television in February is expected to be an important catalyst for Time Warner Cable and the cable industry as a whole. Additionally, analysts expect that margins and video share should rise along with increases in broadband market share.

On the surface, Time Warner Cable does not appear to be the most logical pick to endure the market downturn, considering the cable operator, which closed at $21.55 Tuesday, has seen 20% of its share value chopped off this year. However, analysts say both Comcast and Time Warner Cable have diverged to a surprising degree, considering both have similar quality assets, similar capital structures and a similar exposure to the weakest housing markets in the U.S.

"For investors looking to mitigate macro-economic risks facing the broader cable group -- including the deepening local advertising deterioration -- the relative valuation gap between Time Warner Cable and Comcast may represent an attractive lower-risk opportunity to participate in the sector," says Craig Moffett, analyst with Sanford Bernstein, in a note. The firm recently named Time Warner Cable as its top pick in the telecom, cable and satellite group for the fourth quarter.

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