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Comcast Corporation (CMCSA - Analyst Report) – the largest cable MSO in the U.S. – is set to release its first-quarter 2013 results before the opening bell on May 1, 2013.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Comcast is likely to beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key ingredients.

Positive Zacks ESP: Expected Surprise Prediction or ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method), which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is +4.08%. This is a meaningful and leading indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise.

Zacks #3 Rank (Hold): Comcast currently has a Zacks Rank #3. Note that the stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) and 3 (Hold) have a significantly higher chance of beating the earnings. 

The combination of Comcast’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and +4.08% ESP makes us confident of a positive earnings beat on May 1, 2013.

What is Driving the Better-Than-Expected Earnings?

Comcast’s Cable business continued to beat market expectations and the NBC Universal division made a solid turnaround. In spite of challenges, the struggling video operation continued its positive momentum. Comcast has also completed its major technical innovations, such as DOCSIS 3.0, all digital networks and a multi-platform content delivery network.

Moreover, several newly-launched services, such as Xfinity Home, Wi-Fi, X1 and high-speed Metro Ethernet will act as long-term growth catalysts for the company.

On the downside, persistent loss of video subscribers affects Comcast as customers are opting for cheaper video streaming service providers like Netflix, Hulu.Com and YouTube.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

American Tower Corporation (AMT - Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +6.25% and carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Research In Motion Limited (BBRY - Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +100.00% and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

DISH Network Corp. (DISH - Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.89% and carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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