CBS Corp. Fourth-Quarter Revenues, Adjusted Earnings Up, But Radio Lags
February 11, 2016 at 1:52 PM (PT)
CBS CORP. fourth-quarter 2015 revenues rose 6% to a record $3.91 billion, driven by a 16% jump in content licensing and distribution revenues from international TV programming sales and a 13% increase in fees including retransmission consent rights. Ad revenues grew 1% despite lower local station political revenues.
CBS RADIO revenues fell 5% due to "continued softness in the radio advertising marketplace and lower political advertising," combining with an 11% drop in O&O TV station revenue to cause the Local Broadcasting segment to drop from $785 million in revenue to $719 million. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations rose 8% to $436 million; total operating income fell from $707 million to $357 million, hit by $484 million in impairment charges largely related to a writedown of the value of the company's radio licenses.
"We had a terrific fourth quarter, and CBS is now in position to build strong momentum throughout 2016," said Chairman/Pres./CEO LESLIE MOONVES. "Our base businesses are growing well, thanks to the strength of our premium content and the continued improvement in the advertising marketplace. In addition, with SUPER BOWL 50 here in the first quarter and political spending ramping up into the fourth, we expect 2016 will be a very good year for advertising. At the same time, our other high-margin revenue streams continue to thrive. Retransmission consent and reverse compensation are set to hit $1 billion in 2016 — a year earlier than expected -- and are on pace to surpass $2 billion in 2020. The international market is extremely exciting as well, with demand for our CBS programming higher than ever and new deals that are changing the way we license the SHOWTIME brand overseas. Plus, our new streaming services -- CBS ALL ACCESS, CBSN, and SHOWTIME over the top -- are attracting a whole new set of younger viewers on better economic terms. So no matter how quickly the digital world changes -- and no matter how viewers want their content -- CBS is positioned to succeed."