As Q1 wrapped up on Friday, CBS stock was trading at its highest level in a year on the NYSE ahead of the big Upfront for CBS Television. The broadcasting company’s widely held Class B (non-voting) stock hit a 52-week high of $33.94 in Friday’s (3/30) trading, up from Thursday’s close of $32.83. The stock closed at $33.91, up 3.3% for the day.
CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves has been telling anyone who will listen that the network is going to have a big Upfront and that CBS will have the strongest primetime lineup in Fall 2012, due to having the fewest holes to fill of any network. Meanwhile, while growing advertising revenues, the company is reducing its dependence on advertising as it grows retrans/reverse comp and gets paid for its library content by such new entities as Hulu and Netflix.
CBS doubled its cash dividend to a dime per quarter last year, but Moonves told CNBC a few days ago that the board of directors will consider another dividend boost. “We have plenty of cash, and our balance sheet is as good as it’s been,” he noted. CBS has also been buying back its own shares, which increases the effective value of the shares remaining in the market.