(Adds details from conference call, analyst's comments)
By Sruthi Ramakrishnan
May 8 CBS Corp, owner of the most
watched U.S. television network, reported lower-than-expected
revenue as advertising fell 12 percent, sending its shares down
3 percent in extended trading.
Revenue for the first quarter fell 4 percent to $3.86
billion, reflecting fewer College basketball games and the
absence of the Superbowl broadcast, which was carried by rival
Fox this year.
"People expect that quarter after quarter there will be some
little present delivered to them in terms of some positive
surprise. There really wasn't so much of that," Wedbush
Securities analyst James Dix told Reuters.
The broadcaster said it expects the second half of the year
to be stronger, driven by heavy spending on political
advertising due to mid-term elections scheduled in Florida and
Michigan, markets with CBS-owned stations.
More original programming over the summer, Thursday Night
Football in the fall season and higher ad rates are also
expected to boost revenue at CBS's Television Network in the
second half of the year.
Strong demand in international markets for the network's hit
shows such as "NCIS" and "The Good Wife" drove up first-quarter
licensing revenue by 6 percent.
CBS will premiere its thriller "Penny Dreadful" on its
Showtime network on Sunday.
The company's net earnings from continuing operations rose
to $468 million, or 78 cents per share, in the quarter, from
$463 million, or 73 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company's profit was 79 cents per
share, above the average analyst estimate of 74 cents, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Superbowl advertising helped rival 21st Century Fox Inc
report a better-than-expected quarterly profit on
CBS shares were trading at $56.32 after the bell. They
closed at $58.01 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
(Additional reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by