Family Feud Heats Up Again For Redstone, CBS


LOS ANGELES — The future of CBS Inc. and kissing cousin Viacom has become a sizzling Manhattan soap opera that’s as hot as Friday’s weather.

Now, in the latest turn of events in a matter that sees CBS trying to stave off a merger with Viacom, it is moving forward with its annual shareholder meeting.

The event was originally set for May 18. It’s now two months away, and will be held in Pasadena.

In an SEC filing made after Wednesday’s Closing Bell on Wall Street, CBS announced that its 2018 Annual Meeting will now take place August 10.

The locale? The five-star Langham Huntington, nestled just minutes from the Huntington Library and Gardens and hip South Pasadena, to the north of downtown L.A.

Shareholders of record at the close of business on July 5 are entitled to vote at the meeting. Additional information will be filed with the SEC as a supplement, providing details of the meeting.

With the annual meeting rescheduled from May 18, CBS established the close of business on Tuesday, June 19 as the new deadline for the receipt of any stockholder proposals submitted pursuant to Rule 14a-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, for inclusion in the company’s proxy materials for the meeting.

CBS scrubbed the originally scheduled date for its annual meeting in light of actions taken by National Amusements Inc., the majority shareholder of CBS controlled by Shari Redstone, and then-pending litigation in Delaware Chancery Court.

As news of the new date for the annual shareholders meeting was circulated across the investment community, CBS shares rose in Thursday’s trading. As of 3:30pm Eastern, CBS was trading at $51.14, up 1.4% from Wednesday.

Also helping CBS is a new analysis from Zacks Equity Research that suggests it is “a great value for investors.”

CBS Corporation has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 10.9. “This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at about 20.2x,” Zacks notes. “If we focus on the long-term PE trend, CBS Corp.’s current PE level puts it below its midpoint over the past five years, with the number having risen rapidly over the past few months. Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the broader industry’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 51.3. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.”

In aggregate, CBS Corp. has a Zacks “Value Score” of A, putting it into the top 20% of all stocks it covers from this look. “This makes CBS Corporation a solid choice for value investors,” it concludes. “CBS Corporation is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Further, a strong industry rank (among Top 40% of more than 250 industries) instills our confidence.”

However, Zacks cautions investors not to rush to buy CBS stock today.

“With a ‘Zacks Rank #3’ it is hard to get too excited about this company overall,” it warns. “Value investors might want to wait for estimates and analyst sentiment to turn around … once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.”

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