CBS Profit Up On Higher Licensing, Pay TV Revenue


CBS Corp (NYSE:CBS), owner of the most watched U.S. television network, reported lower-than-expected revenue as advertising fell 12 percent, sending its shares down 3 percent in extended trading.

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Revenue for the first quarter ended March 31 fell 4 percent to $3.86 billion, reflecting fewer College basketball games and the absence of the Superbowl broadcast, which was carried by rival Fox this year.

CBS network leads the four major networks in total viewers, according to Nielsen ratings numbers made available by the company, thanks to hit shows such as "The Big Bang theory" and "NCIS."

However it trails Comcast's NBC and Fox, a unit of Twenty-first Century Fox, among the 18-49 year old viewers that advertisers most covet.

The company's net earnings from continuing operations rose to $468 million, or 78 cents per share, in the quarter, from $463 million, or 73 cents per share, a year earlier.

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Excluding items, the company's profit was 79 cents per share, above analysts' average expectation of 74 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Content licensing and distribution revenues grew 6 percent, helped by higher international licensing of its television programming.

Shares were trading at $56.32. They closed at $58.01 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Superbowl advertising helped Fox report a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)