The biggest pure-play broadcasting company, CBS Corporation, reports its earnings Wednesday (2/16) after the market closes. Based on its strong ratings and ad sales already reported by other broadcasters, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker is looking for the company to beat Wall Street expectations.
“Given strong ratings, scatter and overall ad trends, CBS is likely to beat Q4 – we would peg entertainment (i.e. CBS Network) as having the most upside potential. Q1 pacings are likely to be marred by really tough comps (recall that CBS generated $200M of rev. from the Super Bowl last year – we estimate $180M at the networks and $20M at the stations) BUT underlying, core trends should be strong. That said, CBS tends to be a victim of high expectations during reporting season so we would not be surprised to see the stock take a step back temporarily on the print (we would view this scenario as a buying opportunity). Our Q4 estimates are revenues of $3.82B (+9%), OIBDA of $762M and EPS of $0.44 v. Consensus of $3.85B, $773M and $0.44, respectively,” Ryvicker said in a note on Friday.
The analyst also sees the possibility of CBS Radio coming in above her revenue estimate of $355 million, which would be a gain of 10%, given the strong showing by Clear Channel this past week.
CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves was pretty upbeat at a media conference in December, so he’s likely to be a happy guy when he reports the Q4 results this week. We’ll all get to hear more of his pro-broadcasting, multi-platform exuberance in April at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. He’ll engage in a Q&A session with NAB President Gordon Smith during a Tuesday (4/12) session.