CBS Reports Higher Earnings and Revenue

CBS reported increases in third quarter profits and revenues.

CBS’ net income included a $1.56 billion gain from the spinoff of its outdoor business.

Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations were $400 million for the third quarter compared with net earnings from continuing operations of $431 million a year ago. That translated 74 cents per diluted share, compared to 70 cents a year ago, and one penny ahead of Wall Street expections.

Revenue rose 2% to $3.37 billion.

Advertising revenue grew 2% because of CBS’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts and increased political advertising at its stations.

CBS said adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization was down 2% because of new contract with the NFL. The company said the NFL programming helped launch three CBS-owned primetime series with higher ratings in their time periods than a year ago.

Affiliate and subscription fees were flat because of a significant pay-per-view boxing event a year ago, the company said.

"Our third quarter growth reflects the success of our efforts to create and monetize our premium content," CEO Les Moonves said in a statement. "I am particularly pleased with the CBS Television Network's encouraging start to the fall season, which has reloaded our owned content pipeline in a big way.”

CBS’s entertainment group, which includes the broadcasts network, stations and TV studio, had lower operating income of $335 million, compared to $431 million a year ago. CBS attributed the drop of to higher costs for NFL programming.

Entertainment revenues were up 1% to $1.91 billion, with higher TV licensing and affiliate fees offset by softness in the advertising marketplace.

CBS’s cable networks had had 4% higher operating  income at $272 million. Cable revenues rose 5% to $624 million.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.