Shares of TiVo rose Thursday after the company posted a surprise third-quarter profit and analysts cheered the growth of its subscriber base.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, TiVo earned $59 million, or 44 cents per share. Revenue rose 27 percent to $82 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 5 cents per share on total revenue of $72.3 million.

The digital video recording company has struggled to make money, posting annual losses in eight of the past 10 years. It got a boost during this most recent quarter from more subscribers and a patent dispute settlement.

TiVo, based in Alviso, Calif., has been aggressively pursuing patent disputes, and it reached a $250 million settlement with Verizon during the quarter. Meanwhile, its subscription base increased 44 percent to almost 3 million subscribers in the period.

In releasing its quarterly results, the company also projected a fourth-quarter loss of between $15 million and $17 million, steeper than the $14.4 million loss that analysts expected.

Despite the weak guidance, analysts were upbeat about TiVo's prospects.

Caris & Co.'s David Miller backed his "Buy" rating and $16 price target for the company, calling its subscriber growth "truly outstanding." He attributed the larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss prediction to slightly higher-than-expected spending on legal expenses.

Jefferies analyst Brian Fitzgerald also backed his "Buy" rating and $15 price target for the company's stock, saying that its core business is improving, while its patent litigation pursuits provide the potential for extra revenue.