Previewing Q2 earnings at CBS


Lots of broadcasting companies are reporting their Q2 results this week, but Wall Street is likely to focus most closely on the report Thursday by CBS Corporation, the biggest of the pure-play broadcast stocks. At Wells Fargo Securities, analyst Marci Ryvicker is expecting CBS to hit its targets. Of course, those targets are all for year-over-year declines.

“According to our channel checks, large market outdoor, radio and television companies continue to be negatively impacted by both difficult year-over-year comparisons and significant price cuts by some of the major players. If you recall, the recession hit local media fast and hard, while national media held up pretty well until Q4 2008. As a result, we should see divergent results from large market and small market groups given the former’s higher exposure to national advertising,” Ryvicker said in a note to clients.

CBS, of course, is a big market player. She’s expecting overall revenues for Q2 to come in down 13% at $3.05 billion, with Operating Income Before Depreciation & Amortization (OIBDA) down 53% to $369 million.

Ryvicker expects television revenue to be down 9% to $1.98 billion, with the CBS Network down 4% and the O&O station group down 28%. That would result in TV OIBDA declining 38% to $332 million.

Expectations for radio are worse. The analyst sees radio revenues falling 25% to $312 million, with OIBDA down 51% to $80 million.

For the remaining parts of the company, she expects outdoor revenues to fall 20%, publishing 20% and interactive 2%.

On the bottom line, Ryvicker is looking for earnings per share of six cents, while the Thomson/First Call consensus is eight cents.