By Sruthi Ramakrishnan
Feb 26 (Reuters) - Digital video recorder maker TiVo Inc reported a better-than-expected 20 percent rise in quarterly revenue and said it expects to benefit from Comcast Corp’s $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable .
The deal will give Comcast, a key cable customer of TiVo, access to 19 of the 20 largest U.S. TV markets and is widely expected to reshape the country’s pay TV and broadband markets.
TiVo also said Comcast plans to expand the integration of Xfinity On Demand, the cable company’s digital store of movies and TV shows, on TiVo’s set-top boxes to its entire market.
“To the extent (the expansion) continues to apply to the digital markets that Comcast may acquire, we certainly look at that as a potential benefit,” Chief Executive Tom Rogers told Reuters.
Cable subscribers are increasingly turning to TiVo’s set-top boxes which also allow them to access online video services such as Netflix Inc, Hulu and Google Inc’s YouTube.
Analysts expect Netflix’s recent deal to pay Comcast more for faster broadband speeds to benefit TiVo.
The agreement is likely to drive more subscribers to buy Tivo’s set-top boxes as streaming Netflix on Comcast-owned-and-operated boxes have TV and movie rights content conflicts, Albert, Fried & Co analyst Rich Tullo wrote in a pre-earnings note.
TiVo’s cable customers also include Virgin Media Inc , DirecTV, Ono, RCN and Suddenlink.
Comcast reported last month that it added more video subscribers than expected in the fourth quarter, while DirecTV reported a higher-than-expected rise in U.S. subscribers.
TiVo said it added 319,000 net subscribers in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, including 313,000 subscribers in its cable and satellite television business, which provides digital video recording service through its own and service providers’ set-top boxes.
The company forecast first-quarter profit of $5 million-$8 million and service and technology revenue of $85 million to $87 million.
TiVo posted a net profit of $710,000, or 1 cent per share, in the fourth quarter, compared to a loss of $15.8 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding an unanticipated non-cash charge of $4.8 million, profit was 2 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose to $106.3 million from $88.9 million a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 4 cents per share on revenue of $84.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares were little changed in post-market trading after closing at $12.83 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.