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Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 15, 2012 4:30 pm ET


Adam Townsend - Executive Vice President of Investor Relations

Sumner M. Redstone - Founder and Executive Chairman

Leslie Moonves - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Joseph R. Ianniello - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Benjamin Swinburne - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Michael C. Morris - Davenport & Company, LLC, Research Division

Laura Martin - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Douglas D. Mitchelson - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Michael A. Meltz - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

David W. Miller - Caris & Company, Inc., Research Division

David Bank - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Marci Ryvicker - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division



Good day, everyone, and welcome to the CBS Corporation Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Release Teleconference. Today's call is being recorded. At this time, I'll turn the call over to the Executive Vice President of Investor Relations, Mr. Adam Townsend. Please go ahead, sir.

Adam Townsend

Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings conference call. Joining me for today's conference are Sumner Redstone, our Executive Chairman; Leslie Moonves, President and CEO; and Joe Ianniello, Executive Vice President and CFO.

Sumner will have opening remarks, and we'll turn over the call to Les and Joe, who will discuss the strategic and financial results. We will then open the call up to questions. Please note that during today's conference call, the fourth quarter and full year 2011 financial results and prior year comparisons, with the exception of revenue, will be discussed on an adjusted basis, unless otherwise specified. Reconciliations for non-GAAP financial information related to this call can be found on our earnings release or on our website. In addition, statements on this conference call relating to matters which are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. Risks and uncertainties are disclosed in CBS Corporation's news releases and Securities filings.

A webcast of this call and the earnings release related to today's presentation can be found on the Investors section of our website at

And with that, it's now my pleasure to turn the call over to Sumner.

Sumner M. Redstone

Thank you, Adam. Good afternoon, everyone. I thank all of you for being with us today. I am more than pleased that CBS had such a tremendous year once again in 2011. And as you will all hear, momentum continues to build and build. Our world-class content continues to be the cornerstone of our success. We have the #1 television network. We have the top TV and radio stations in the big market. We have Showtime and all its critically acclaimed programs. We have Simon & Schuster and all its best-sellers. We have Outdoor in all the right places. Every one of these assets is becoming more and more valuable than ever in new digital area. I am confident we have the right strategy in place to help us grow this company year after year after year in the future. And the reason for that is we have a first-class management team that knows how to make such things happen. And that starts at the top with none other than my very good friend and colleague, Les Moonves. But let me tell you, as you know, I have often called Les a genius. Les' unparalleled success in operating CBS is indeed the work of a genius. And now I will formally turn this over to my friend, my colleague and the man I call a genius, and he is, Les Moonves.

Leslie Moonves

Thank you, Sumner, very much for that overly kind introduction. Good afternoon, everybody, and thank you for once again joining us.

The fourth quarter numbers we're reporting today capped off a terrific and much better-than-expected 2011 for the CBS Corporation. Quarterly EPS came in at $0.57, up 24%, and we posted full year EPS of $1.94. That was a record for our company and up 75% over 2010. Quarterly OIBDA was also very strong, up 9%. And for the year, OIBDA was up $753 million to $3.1 billion, up 32%. We did this in a year when the overall economy faced lots of uncertainty. And as you know, the S&P was flat. It is very encouraging that we were able to be so successful in this kind of environment. Clearly, our ongoing strategy of de-risking and diversifying our businesses is paying off and it's only getting better.

As we sit here today nearly 7 weeks into the new year, I'm truly excited about what we're seeing. The first quarter alone is looking to be extremely strong, leading to an extraordinary '12. For a number of reasons, I'm confident this will be an even better year than the last, and one in which we are poised to break records in financial metrics across-the-board.

Here's why: First, the ways we get paid for our content continue to grow and become more profitable, improving the quality of our earnings. From broadcast to streaming, from retrans to reverse comp, from international to local, we have an increasingly number of diverse revenue sources that expand margins and drive earnings.

Next, in a content-driven industry, our program is leading the pack better than ever. This is led by the CBS Television Network, which just completed the first half of its broadcast seasons in one of the best competitive positions in the history of television. At the halfway mark, we were #1 network in every key measurable demographic. The distance between CBS and our closest competitor was the biggest it's been in 24 years, and we continue to reload.

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