CBS Corporation Fourth Quarter Revenues, Income Fall, But Radio's Now 'Discontinued Operations'

CBS appears to have come through its Q4 period relatively unscathed, despite a Thursday Night Football deal that left it with three fewer games than it had in 2015, and anemic ratings as some football fans turned to news channels to keep up with the unusual election.

"If there are ways to do advertising in different ways, we are looking at that", Moonves said. During Wednesday's earnings call, Moonves said that if the FCC, under new Chairman Ajit Pai, decides to revise the ownership cap rules for broadcasters, CBS may be prepared to strike.

For the fourth quarter, CBS recorded a one-time settlement charge of $211 million on its employee pension, which resulted operating income dropping to $484 million.

CBS raked in $3.52 billion in revenue, compared with $3.59 billion for the fourth quarter of 2015, which was boosted with a lucrative global licensing agreement for programs from its Showtime Networks. In the latest quarter, advertising revenue accounted for 51% of the top line, flat from a year earlier.

The company earned $1.11 per share on an adjusted basis, beating estimates of $1.10 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Advertising revenue was down almost 3% in the quarter.

That figure puts CBS well on its way toward the goal it set of bringing in $2.5 billion in broadcast retransmission licensing and reverse compensation fees by 2020. For the full year, affiliate and subscription fees were up 9%.

The local media segment grew revenue by 16 percent to $526 million.

But with all that behind the company, chairman/CEO, CBS Corp. Publishing was 10.3% lower to $209 million.

The release from CBS included Chairman/CEO LESLIE MOONVES saying of the ENTERCOM deal that the transaction was "the best possible way" to spin off the radio business and, "When completed, this transaction will allow us to focus even more on our core content strength and enable our faster-growing revenue to drive our results like never before". But speculation about such a deal was put to rest after Redstone's National Amusements, the companies' controlling shareholder, withdrew its merger proposal. The stock was unchanged during afterhours trading.

  • Zachary Reyes