CBS 4Q Mixed, Revenue Disappoints

By FOXBusiness

Media giant CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS) weighed in with mixed fourth-quarter results on Wednesday after the market closed, as the company beat expectations on the bottom line but saw revenue come in shy of expectations.

The company reported that net income rose 31% to $370 million, or 55 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $283 million, or 42 cents a share. When adjusted to exclude restructuring charges, earnings rose 24% to 57 cents a share, up from last year’s earnings of 46 cents.

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Revenue fell to $3.78 billion, down from $3.90 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast adjusted earnings of 53 cents a share on revenue of $3.91 billion.

The company disclosed that it repurchased 7 million Class B shares of stock for $170 million, and it contributed $200 million into its pension plan during the quarter.

Revenue from the company’s entertainment group fell 1% to $2 billion, as revenue from CBS’s cable networks improved 7% to $395 million. Publishing revenue fell 1% to $787 million, as stronger sales of digital content offset decreasing print book sales, the company said. Local broadcasting revenues fell 12% to $721 million, and outdoor revenues rose 1% to $514 million, compared with the year-ago quarter.

The company boasted that its margins continue to expand, and that the marketplace has improved as the company recently reached a key retransmission agreement and has extended its NFL contract. Chief executive Leslie Moonves also expects improvements to local businesses during election season and a continued rebound to the automotive sector.

“What's particularly exciting, however, is our ability to capitalize on the fundamental changes in our business model, meaning that the ways we get paid for our content are becoming more lucrative all the time,” said Moonves, in a statement. “As our momentum builds and our revenue mix becomes more steady and recurring, we are positioned to enhance margins, drive earnings, and return significant value to our shareholders for many years to come."

Shares of CBS fell just shy of 1% in Wednesday’s session, closing the day at $29.57.  The stock was down another 57 cents, or 1.9%, in electronic trading after the market closed.  Year-to-date, the stock is up nearly 9%.