CBS 4Q Profit Rises, But Misses Expectations

By FOXBusiness

Correction: The headline from a previous version of this report incorrectly stated: “CBS 4Q Profit Slumps, Shares Tick Lower.” As the story correctly states, the profit actually rose during the quarter but did fall short of Wall Street expectations.

CBS (NYSE:CBS) reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings late Thursday as an improvement among its cable networks failed to offset sales declines in both the publishing and entertainment divisions.

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The New York-based cable network operator reported net earnings of $393 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $370 million, or 57 cents.

Excluding one-time items, CBS said it earned 64 cents, below average analyst estimates of 68 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 increased 2% to $3.7 billion, narrowly below the Street’s view of $3.78 billion.

Shares of CBS slumped 2% in after-hours trade on Thursday to $42.10. On Friday just before noon, however, they were up 3.5% to $44.45.

Advertising revenues ticked up about 3%, a reflection of higher political and network advertising, while affiliate and subscription fee revenue rose 9%.

"Advertising revenue is growing, and our revenue from non-advertising sources continues to grow even faster,” said CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves.

However, partially offsetting the results were sales declines in its entertainment and publishing groups.

The media company also unveiled on Thursday a new accelerated buyback program valued at $1 billion, nearly doubling its repurchase commitment for the year.