CBS Beats Estimates on Flat Revenue

From Silicon Alley Insider: CBS (CBS) turned in a respectable Q1, all things considered. Revenues were flat with 2007 (when CBS had the Super Bowl) but beat expectations. Results were apparently not hurt terribly by plummeting TV ratings and the writers strike.

TV revenue was up 1% y/y, but operating income from the TV unit jumped 15%, reflecting lower costs from the strike (CBS wasn’t paying anyone to make new TV shows for much of the quarter). Outdoor was also up 7% y/y in the quarter, while radio was down 9% and publishing down 12%.

We’ll cover the 8:30 a.m. conference call live, and listen for colour on the advertising climate, the impact of the writers strike on the TV network, and Showtime losing its movie output deals and getting new competition from a Viacom-led pay-TV channel.

  • Revenue: $3.7 billion, about flat with 2007, but beating Wall Street’s $3.55 billion estimate.
  • EPS: $0.36, up 29% y/y vs $0.33 Street estimate
  • Operating Income: $720 million, up 10% from Q1 2007
  • Outlook: CBS expects operating income growth of 3%-5% from last year’s $2.73 billion in 2008.

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