CBS Corp. Stock Hits New High After Strong Earnings

7:05 AM PST 08/03/2012 by Georg Szalai
David Cantatore/Getty Images

Corporate sibling Viacom opens the trading day hardly changed after reporting weaker financials.

The stock of CBS Corp. on Friday hit a new all-time high since its separation from Viacom after better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, while the latter started the day off hardly changed amid weaker financials.

As of 10am ET, CBS shares traded up 5.4 percent at $34.83, giving it a market value of $21.2 billion, after earlier going as high as $35.18. That marked a 52-week high and the highest point since the Viacom-CBS separation.
 
Meanwhile, Viacom shares were up marginally at $45.98, giving the company a market value of $21.8 billion, as of 10am ET after starting down slightly.

Several analysts increased their stock price targets and financial estimates for CBS Corp., led by CEO Leslie Moonves.

Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser raised his target price on CBS Corp. by $2 to $39. Nomura's Michael Nathanson also raised his price target by $2 to $36.

"CBS continues to surprise with higher earnings revisions driving the share performance," Nathanson said. "Yet, we would argue that a limitation in multiple expansion is deserved due to exposure to slower growing local ad markets and lumpiness (and sustainability) in syndication revenues."

The analyst called Viacom's results "worse than expected," but he maintained his "buy" recommendation. "Viacom remains a value play with a shrinking equity base from buybacks," he said. "Valuation remains compelling but shares will likely continue to be tied to commentary around forward affiliate fee, advertising and national scatter trends, Nickelodeon and the company’s ability to manage cost growth."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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