CBS meets expectations with mixed quarter


CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves is clearly proud of the company’s TV operation, bragging in this Q2 conference call about CBS winning another season in total viewership (even though Fox won the prime 18-49 demo), declaring that the network got mid-to-high single digit CPM increases in its upfront negotiations and expressing confidence in five "exciting new series" to debut this fall. TV revenues were down 4% for the quarter to 2.16 billion, but that was due to some TV station divestitures, no more UPN and the timing of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, while underlying TV revenues were up. Proving the point, TV OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) was up 35 to 549.5 million and operating income was also up 3% to 506.1 million. CBS Radio was the soft spot, posting double digit declines in revenues, OIBDA and operating income in Q2, indicating that new CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason has his work cut out for him. Meanwhile, the outdoor and publishing units were both up, giving CBS over all revenues in line with expectations, down 3% to 3.37 billion. Earnings beat the Wall Street consensus by three cents per share at 55 cents per share from continuing operations.