'Optimistic' Redstone Helps To Boost CBS Stock
October 31, 2008 at 5:31 AM (PT)
SUMNER REDSTONE YESTERDAY (10/30) reiterated the recent sale of CBS stock by his holding company was an "extraordinary circumstance" that wouldn't be repeated, but his comments did little to reassure analysts, writes PETER LAURIA in TODAY's NEW YORK POST.
REDSTONE opened CBS' third-quarter earnings call by dubbing NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS' sale of $233 million of CBS and VIACOM stock "highly unusual" and "clearly atypical." He added he had no intention of selling additional shares. The remarks seemed to have a positive effect on the market, as CBS shares rose 8.1%, or 71 cents, to $9.43.
CBS execs steered clear of a question by MERRILL LYNCH analyst JESSICA REIF COHEN, who asked, "If the price of CBS and VIACOM continues to decline, how can you be sure you won't have to sell more?" They said they would restrict their comments to CBS' results.
CBS' results were hit by a slump in local advertising, but CEO LES MOONVES stressed national advertising was holding up well. The company generates about 70% of its revenue from ads.
The radio business also weighed in on results, with revenue falling 12% to $392 million. CBS is attempting to sell 50 mid-market stations, but has said if it doesn't get a fair price it will pull them off the block.