Cablevision Systems Corp., the nation's fifth largest cable TV operator, reports fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens on Thursday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Cable operators have been losing subscribers to satellite TV and phone companies. Cablevision, based in Bethpage, N.Y., is no exception. Look for signs of further erosion in subscriptions or a reversal of the trend.
This month, Cablevision spun off its Madison Square Garden group. Look for management's update on the prospects for Madison Square Garden Inc., which owns the N.Y. Knicks, N.Y. Rangers, Madison Square Garden, Radio Music City Hall, regional sports networks and others.
WHY IT MATTERS: After the spin off, Cablevision separated itself from businesses that had been a drag on earnings. Some speculate that the cable TV side is now ready to be acquired, perhaps by Time Warner Cable Inc.
WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Cablevision to earn 36 cents per share in the fourth quarter and post revenue of $2.1 billion.
LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Cablevision lost $321.4 million, or $1.11 per share, on revenue of $2.05 billion. The loss included a $402.4 million charge to write down the value of Newsday, a daily newspaper it purchased for $650 million in July 2008.
Source: AP News