CBS Corp. Reports Record Profits in Second Quarter

Leslie Moonves

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves is the top-paid Hollywood executive of 2012 based on compensation disclosures so far. His pay declined 11 percent from $69.9 million in 2011, but his $62.2 million still once again made him the highest-paid CEO of a big entertainment company. Amid continued earnings and stock price improvements by his company, it was also ahead of the $57.7 million he had made in 2010.

The entertainment company, led by CEO Leslie Moonves, posted strong results that beat expectations.

CBS Corp. on Wednesday reported record second-quarter results that surpassed Wall Street analyst expectations.

The Leslie Moonves-led company grew revenue 11 percent from the previous year to $3.7 billion. Analysts were anticipating about $3.5 billion.

Net earnings from continuing operations also were encouraging, as the company reported $476 million for the past three months, up from $452 million the same prior-year period.

"Double-digit revenue growth -- and the best quarterly profits we've ever had -- add up to a phenomenal quarter for CBS," said Moonves, singling out the successful introduction of Under the Dome and subsidiary Showtime's Ray Donovan as reasons to be hopeful for the future.

He added, "Our base business is thriving, and our non-advertising revenue sources are having a bigger impact on our results all the time."

Revenues in CBS's main entertainment segments were up. 

CBS posted a 22 percent increase in content licensing and distribution revenues. The rise from $816 million to $997 million was attributed to digital streaming and international syndication deals. Three weeks ago, CBS announced an extension of its licensing agreement with Netflix.

For a company that has been in the news this week over a retransmission fight with Time Warner Cable, CBS also reported that its affiliate and subscription fee revenue had climbed 18 percent to $549 million.

Advertising was one of the softer segments, up only 5 percent to nearly $2.1 billion and the gains there were boosted by the timing of NCAA championship basketball.

Nevertheless, CBS' second quarter results were welcomed by traders, who sent the stock up slightly in after-hours trading. For the past 12 months, CBS stock price has risen nearly 60 percent.