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).
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%.