Cablevision Systems Corp. lost fewer video subscribers than expected in the fourth quarter and said the company expects growth in cash flow in 2014, which sent shares of the cable operator higher Wednesday.

Bethpage-based Cablevision, which owns Newsday, said it lost 18,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter, which was better than the 28,900 video losses that Wall Street was expecting, according to StreetAccount.

"Cablevision is facing fewer customer losses with strong Verizon FiOS competition," said ISI analyst Vijay Jayant.

Cablevision finance chief Gregg Seibert said on a conference call that the company expects to report high single- digit to low double-digit percentage growth in adjusted operating cash flow, its most closely watched metric.

Cablevision did not provide a full-year cash flow forecast but said it expected some cash flow growth in 2014.

Executives on the call declined to comment about the recent Comcast-Time Warner Cable proposed $45.2 billion merger that is set to shake up the U.S. cable industry.

Cablevision's revenue rose 4.5 percent to $1.58 billion. Analysts on average were expecting $1.57 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

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Net income was $51.8 million, or 19 cents per share, down from $116.54 million, or 45 cents a share. A year earlier, the company had higher net income because of discontinued operations such as Bresnan and Clearview Cinemas, two assets that Cablevision has since sold.

Cablevision shares rose 64 cents, or 3.85 percent, to close at $17.26. -- Reuters