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CBS Profit Climbs 31% on Growth in Fees From Pay-TV

Wednesday, 15 Feb 2012 04:47 PM

CBS Corp., owner of the most-watched U.S. television network, said fourth-quarter profit climbed 31 percent on revenue from pay-TV systems and affiliate stations. Sales fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Net income rose to $370 million, or 55 cents a share, from $283 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier, New York-based CBS said Wednesday in a statement. Excluding items, profit of 57 cents beat the 53-cent average of 24 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 3 percent to $3.78 billion, missing the $3.9 billion average of estimates.

CBS, home to 19 of the 25 most-watched prime-time programs last week, is getting more money from pay-TV systems and affiliates for its programs, boosting margins, Michael Morris, an analyst at Davenport & Co., said before results were announced. It is also consolidating local TV and radio operations, he said. Advertising revenue in the final quarter of a year earlier was bolstered by political spending.

“CBS has better ratings than its broadcast network peers and that should benefit them,” said Morris, who recommends buying the shares. “We see a separation between the haves and have-nots playing out over the next several quarters.”

CBS, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, fell 1.2 percent to $29 in extended trading. The stock lost 0.8 percent to $29.54 at 4 p.m. in New York and is up 8.8 percent this year.

On Dec. 12, CBS agreed to acquire WLNY-TV (Channel 55) in New York, where it already owns WCBS-TV (Channel 2), creating a duopoly in the biggest U.S. media market. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed at the time.

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Wednesday, 15 Feb 2012 04:47 PM
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