NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Time Warner Cable ( TWC) 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 Thomson Reuters estimate earnings will come in at $1 a share. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 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, Time Warner Cable beat earnings estimates with a profit of $360 million, or $1 a share. 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 Cablevision ( CVC) and Dish ( DISH) 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. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Theresa McCabe. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to @TheresaMcCabe. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.