CBS Corp. Has Record Quarter, But Radio Lags; Company To Buy Back $2 Billion Of Stock
February 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM (PT)
While CBS CORP. trumpeted its biggest fourth quarter ever, radio revenues lagged behind, the company disclosed in its earnings report TODAY (2/12). Overall revenues grew 6% to $3.91 billion, led by a 28% jump in content licensing and distribution revenues, while radio revenues fell 4% (flat, discounting political ad revenue).
The local broadcasting division, of which the company's owned and operated radio and television stations are a part, fell 9% to $719 million, mostly due to the loss of political ads. And publishing increased 5% to $225 million, with one of the biggest sellers being RUSH LIMBAUGH's children's book, "RUSH REVERE AND THE BRAVE PILGRIMS."
Executive Chairman SUMNER REDSTONE said, "CBS continues to turn in stellar performances year in and year out, and none better than 2013. The Company's strategy of monetizing its content across all platforms is driving our results today, and it will continue to enhance our ability to achieve even greater success in the future. I'm confident that LES (MOONVES) and his team will lead CBS to new heights in 2014 and beyond."
Pres./CEO LESLIE MOONVES added "Our record fourth-quarter and full-year results demonstrate CBS' stature as one of the world's foremost creators of premium content. 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. These include the sale of three hit shows -- HAWAII FIVE-0, BLUE BLOODS and ELEMENTARY -- into domestic syndication, along with new deals in digital streaming, international syndication, retransmission consent and reverse compensation.
"Plus, we plan to launch the IPO of our Outdoor business this quarter, which will unlock its value and significantly enhance our ability to return capital to shareholders. In fact, that's why today we're announcing an accelerated share repurchase of $1.5 billion in addition to stepping up the pace of our open market share repurchases during the first quarter. Our Outdoor transactions will also result in a CBS that is much closer to a pure content Company, with about half of our revenue coming from steady and recurring sources. Looking ahead, we are extremely excited about all the opportunities that we have in a marketplace that's exploding with new ways to engage with the best content."
The company also announced an accelerated stock buyback plan of $1.5 billion of its Class B common stock for first quarter, as part of an overall $2 billion buyback. MOONVES said, "The $2 billion of our share repurchase program that we plan to spend in the first quarter is nearly the same amount as our total share buyback program in 2013. Returning value to shareholders is a top priority at CBS. And these actions underscore the great confidence we have in our future as we continue to evolve into a Company that is more reliant on fast-growing, non-advertising revenue streams."