CBS Earnings Terrible As Expected; Political Ads Flee From TV, Online Ads Down 5%

CBS’s 2009 4Q earnings were in line with analyst expectations today.

Revenue came in slightly over what the analysts were looking for at $3.5 billion. For 2009, CBS had adjusted EPS of $0.53.

Higher subscription numbers and affiliate fees were dragged down by lower political ads and local spots

Overall revenues totaled $3.50 billion in the fourth quarter, down less than 1% compared to $3.53 billion from 2008’s 4Q.

For 2009, revenues were $13.01 billion, down 7% compared to $13.95 billion for 2008. Entertainment revenues from TV and movies were up to $1.82 billion for the fourth quarter of 2009, a 4% increase from the prior year. TV ads grew 8% while online advertising sales decreased 5% versus the prior year.

CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves in the statement: “Cable Networks’ subscriber and profit growth continues, and traffic to CBS Interactive sites hit new records during the quarter…With growing retransmission and affiliate fees, we’ve established a substantial secondary revenue stream.”

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