By RTT News,
February 12, 2014, 05:27:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - CBS Corp. ( CBS ) (CBS-A) on Wednesday reported an increase in fourth-quarter profit, on strong content licensing and distribution business even as advertising revenues fell marginally.
The broadcasting company also indicated plans to repurchase $2 billion of stock in the first quarter of 2014. CBS shares are up 3 percent in after-hours trade on the New York Stock Exchange, following the results.
Commenting on the results, CEO Sumner Redstone said the company's strategy to monetize content across all platforms is driving results.
New York-based CBS reported fourth-quarter net income of $470 million or $0.76 per share, compared with $393 million or $0.60 per share last year.
Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $477 million or $0.78 per share, compared with $414 million or $0.64 per share a year ago.
Revenues for the fourth-quarter climbed 6 percent to $3.9 billion from $3.7 billion in the prior year, and is the highest ever for any fourth quarter in CBS history.
Growth reflects a 28 jump in content licensing and distribution revenue, on higher licensing of television programming.
Affiliate and subscription fee revenue grew 7 percent on higher cable affiliate fees, retransmission revenue, and fees from CBS Television Network-affiliated television stations.
Meanwhile its key revenue stream of advertising edged down 0.5 percent, due mainly to lower political advertising revenue at Local Broadcasting.
Of late, broadcasters have become less dependent on advertising revenue and have garnered other sources of growth. CBS has benefited from higher pay-TV fees after its deal with Time Warner Cable Inc. ( TWC ) and license programs to online companies such as Netflix ( NFLX ).
CBS plans to initiate an accelerated share repurchase of $1.5 billion of its Class B common stock during the current quarter, and intends to hasten up its open market share buyback. As a result, CBS plans to use a total of $2 billion of its share buyback program during the quarter.
Also on the anvil is a plan by CBS to launch the IPO of its Outdoor business this quarter - a move it says will unlock shareholder value.
CBS stock closed Wednesday at $61.00, up $0.41 or 0.68%, on a volume of 3.3 million shares. In after hours, the stock gained $2.10 or 3.40% at $63.95. In the past year, the stock has traded in the range of $42.05 - $64.06.
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