CBS Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates With Help From Super Bowl

DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
CBS Q1 Revenues Miss Expectations With Fewer NCAA Basketball Games And No Super Bowl

The company says this is the first quarter since 2006, when it split from Viacom, that it generated more than $4B in revenues. CBS ended up with net earnings of $443M, +22% vs the first three months of 2011, on revenues of $4.04B, +6.4%. The top line is just a hair more than the $4.02B that analysts expected. Diluted earnings at 69 cents beat forecasts for 68 cents. But if you take away the billboard business in Europe and Asia — which CBS plans to sell, and deems “discontinued” — then earnings hit 73 cents. Ad sales across the company’s properties were up 8.2% to $2.46B. At the Entertainment unit, the largest operation which includes the broadcast network, revenues hit $2.54B (+9.5%) with operating income of $440M (+18.9%). CBS says that the Super Bowl broadcast helped, as did a 62% increase in retransmission consent fees. The cable channels, including Showtime, saw revenues of $478M (+5.8%) with operating income of $227M (+11.3%) due in part to higher affiliate fees.

Related: Moonves Says CBS Will Keep Suing Aereo As It Expands

Publishing struggled vs last year when Simon & Schuster had Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs: It had revenues of $171M (-2.8%) and operating income of $10M (+25%). CBS’ TV and radio stations fared better with revenues of $638M (+2.6%) and operating income of $176M (+27.5%). CEO Les Moonves calls this “the most successful quarter in our Company’s history” which puts CBS “in a very strong position as we prepare to unveil our new primetime lineup at the upfront later this month.”

Related: Moonves: CBS Upfront Price Increases Could Hit “Low Double Digits”

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