CBS Earnings Beat Forecasts

Apr 29, 2008  •  Post A Comment

CBS reported a profit of $244.3 million, or 36 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, up 14% from $213.5 million, or 28 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2007.
A reduction in production expenses during the 100-day writers strike contributed to the performance, which beat numerous analysts’ expectations, by raising profits for the television division, in spite of a 15% decline in ad revenues as a result of the strike.
Revenues for the quarter were effectively flat at $3.65 billion, the company reported Tuesday before the markets opened.
CBS raised its quarterly dividend 8% to 27 cents per share.
First quarter television revenues were $2.60 billion, up 1% from $2.57 in the same quarter a year ago, largely as a result of an 85% increase in licensing fees. Those included the self-distribution deal the network made for the three series in the “CSI” franchise and the second cycle of the syndication of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Subscriber growth and rate increases at CBS-owned Showtime premium cable networks and CBS College Sports Network added up to an increase of 6% in affiliate revenues.
Affecting the picture for the quarter were the lack of the Super Bowl, which was a boost to first-quarter 2007 results, and the fact that the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, a first-quarter contributor in 2007, fell into the second quarter this year.
CBS said those items amounted to a 10% drag on TV revenues for first quarter 2008.
CBS stock, which had closed Monday at $22.54, was at $23.40 per share in late morning Tuesday.
(Editor: Jensen)

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