CBS Corporation reports the Company’s first quarter 2014 results, which include growth in all profit measures.
“CBS remains focused on its core strategy — creating and distributing the best content, and monetizing it across multiple platforms,” said Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman, CBS Corporation. “This winning business model is generating healthy profits today, and I’m confident it will continue to do so well into the future. I’m more excited than ever about the growth prospects before us and about all that Leslie and his team are achieving quarter after quarter.”
“I’m very pleased to be reporting record first quarter profits, driven once again by our fast-growing, higher-margin revenue streams,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.“ Thanks to the strength of our base business, as well as new opportunities to monetize our content, our momentum continues to build. And we are confident we are still in the early innings of our terrific growth story. Next week, we will launch a whole new set of content franchises when we unveil our fall schedule to advertisers. Plus, we have several exciting additions to our overall programming lineup with an expanded new schedule this summer and Thursday Night Football this fall. As we continue to grow CBS as a content company, we also recently took a dramatic step forward when we successfully completed the IPO of CBS Outdoor, which subsequently obtained a favorable REIT ruling from the IRS. The separation of this business will bring us that much closer to achieving our goal of becoming a pure content company and, at current market prices, puts us on track to return about $6 billion of value to shareholders in 2014. Looking ahead, with even stronger programming to sell to advertisers, political spending heat ing up later this year, and new deals coming down the pike in retransmission consent and reverse compensation, we see the back half of 2014 even stronger than the first — and we are positioned for another record year.”
Revenues were $3.86 billion for the first quarter of 2014 compared with $4.04 billion in the same prior-year period, which included more than $280 million from the CBS Television Network’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII. Content licensing and distribution revenues grew 6%, driven by higher international licensing of television programming. Affiliate and subscription fee revenues rose 9%, led by higher cable affiliate fees, retransmission revenues, and fees from CBS Television Network-affiliated television stations. Operating income before depreciation and amortization (“OIBDA”) of $930 million and operating income of $818 million for the first quarter of 2014 were each up 2% from the same prior-year period as increases in higher-margin revenues more than overcame the absence of the 2013 Super Bowl broadcast. Net earnings from continuing operations were $468 million for the first quarter of 2014, or $.78 per diluted share, compared with $463 million, or $.73 per diluted share, for the same prior-year period. Net earnings for the first quarter of 2014 included interest expense of $12 million ($7 million, net of tax), or $.01 per diluted share, from the $1.6 billion that our outdoor subsidiary, CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. (“CBS Outdoor”), borrowed during the first quarter of 2014. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations rose 7%, primarily driven by the operating income growth as well as lower weighted average shares outstanding as a result of the Company’s ongoing share repurchases.