By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES Feb 12 CBS Corp reported
higher profit that beat Wall Street forecasts for the quarter
that ended in December, boosted by revenue from digital
streaming deals and fees from pay television operators.
Shares of CBS jumped 4.3 percent to $64.50 in after-hours
trading on Wednesday following the earnings report and the
announcement of an accelerated share repurchase of $1.5 billion
during the first quarter.
The media company posted adjusted diluted earnings per share
of 78 cents, up 22 percent from a year earlier, and beating the
average projection of 76 cents from analysts surveyed by Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S. Fourth quarter operating income rose 9 percent
to $793 million.
CBS Corp operates CBS, the highest-rated U.S. broadcast
network in overall viewers with its stable of hits such as "The
Big Bang Theory" and "NCIS." The company also operates Showtime
and other cable channels, the publishing house Simon & Schuster,
and radio stations.
Revenue for the quarter grew 6 percent to $3.91 billion, led
by a 28 percent increase in content licensing and distribution
CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, on a conference
call with analysts, set a new target for "retransmission"
payments that cable and satellite operators pay to carry their
channels and "reverse compensation" payments from local
affiliates to carry its programming. Revenue from those sources
should rise to $2 billion annually in 2020, Moonves said.
Moonves also said he expected revenue from subscription
video on-demand services, like Netflix and Hulu Plus, to rise in
2014 compared to 2013.