CBS Turns Up Volume On Share Repurchases

CBS Corp. said its board authorized a big increase in its
stock buyback program.

The media company will be able to buy $6 billion worth of
stock, an increase of $5.1 billion. Since CBS began buying back its own share,
stockholders have received $3.75 billion from the company.

CBS' board also approved a 12 cent per share stock dividend.

Stock buybacks and dividend increases have been a big
contributor to a run-up in media company shares. CBS stock closed Thursday at
$52.49 a share up a penny from Wednesday and close to its high for
the year.

"We view the expanded buyback as a strong positive for the
stock --and we believe there is still more to come," said analyst Marci
Ryvicker in a note Thursday. "To us, we see today's announcement as a
strong endorsement by management that it is confident in the company's
underlying fundamentals and business outlook going forward."

Ryvicker added that he does not think the buyback
announcement has anything to do with its retrans dispute with Time Warner
Cable. She also thinks the $5.1 billion buyback is incremental to anything
shareholders might receive from the monetization of its outdoor business.

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.