Comcast, Cablevision Hit 52-Week Highs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Comcast's ( CMCSA) solid performance over the past year has helped boost the stock to a new 52-week high today, as the company catches up to some of its stronger cable competitors including Cablevision ( CVC) and Time Warner Cable ( TWC).

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Analyst Bryan Kraft with Evercore Partners said that while Comcast performed "in line with the market" today, it has been gaining on cable contenders for the past year.

Comcast rose 0.05% to reach a new year-high of $21.39 in morning trading today and closed at $21.32 after 17.2 million shares traded hands, compared with the stock's 3-month daily average of 15.9 million. The stock is up more than 26% in the past year.

"Time Warner Cable and Cablevision have been the real strong performers," Kraft said, "and Comcast is due to catch up."

While Comcast saw its third-quarter earnings fall 8.2% to $867 million, or 31 cents a share, its total revenue rose 7.1% to $5.91 billion from $5.52 billion.

The company reported a 4% increase in total customers to 64.8 million from 67.4 million, which is more subscribers than Time Warner Cable and Cablevision combined. A 3.5% decrease in video subscribers was offset by 13.2% growth in voice customers and a 6.5% increase in high-speed Internet customers. The monthly average revenue per video customer was up 10.4% to $129.75.

Kraft rates Comcast as a buy with a price target of $26 as he forecasts free cash flow through 2015 to average 9.4%.

Cablevision is up more than 34% in the year and reached a new 52-week high today as well. The stock rose to $35.16 in morning trading and closed at $34.59. Approximately 4.8 million shares traded hands today, up from an average daily volume of 2.7 million.

The company saw its third-quarter earnings rise 13.3% to $112.1 million, or 37 cents per share, from $98.9 million, or 33 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The cable company's third-quarter revenue increased 5.6% to $1.81 billion from $1.71 billion during the quarter as its the total number of subscribers grew to 10.7 million from 10.5 million.

Time Warner Cable is up almost 58% over the past year and recently reported a 34.3% increase in earnings in the third quarter to $360 million, or $1 per share, from $268 million, or 76 cents a share.

The company lost 63,000 subscribers in the third quarter, bringing its total revenue generating units to 35.7 million. The company still increased its subscriber revenue by 4.5% to $4.5 billion.

The stock has been trading at the high end of its 52-week price range of $41 to $66.77. Today it closed at $64.63.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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