CBS Reports Its Best Financial Year Ever

1:24 PM PST 02/12/2014 by Eriq Gardner
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves

The company also reports fourth quarter revenue and earnings ahead of expectations.

On Wednesday, CBS Corporation beat analyst expectations with $3.9 billion in revenue and 78 cents in adjusted earnings per share in the fourth financial quarter. Both results were record-setting for the company.

The revenue grew six percent from the same quarter the previous year. CBS attributed the growth mostly to a 28 percent increase in content licensing and distribution revenues. The company has recently inked deals with Amazon Prime and Hulu and has extracted increased fees from cable distributors. That sector accounted for $900 million in revenue.

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CBS' advertising, which still comprises the majority of its revenue, remained relatively flat at $2.4 billion. Its main broadcast network drew 4 percent more income, but that was offset by lower political ad revenues at its local stations in a non-election year.

The company also cheered what it said was new heights for a full financial year. For 2013, CBS grew revenue 8 percent to $15.28 billion. Content licensing and distribution revenues were again the driving factor, although thanks to the Super Bowl earlier in the year, CBS was also able to post a 4 percent increase in ad revenue overall.

"Our record fourth-quarter and full-year results demonstrate CBS's stature as one of the world's foremost creators of premium content," said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. "In addition to the solid performance of our base business, our fast-growing, non-advertising revenue streams are playing a bigger and bigger role in our results, and they will continue to do so in the years to come."

CBS also announced on Wednesday a plan to repurchase $1.5 billion worth of its Class B common stock this quarter.

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