Everything’s up in the new report, even book publishing profits. Net earnings came in at $472M, +10.5% vs the same quarter last year, on revenues of $3.7B, +11.1%. The top line beats analyst forecasts for $3.5B. And earnings at 76 cents a share top expectations for 72 cents. “Double-digit revenue growth — and the best quarterly profits we’ve ever had — add up to a phenomenal quarter for CBS,” CEO Les Moonves says. The main Entertainment unit’s revenues jumped 17.6% to $2B while operating income was up 1.6% to $391M. Ad sales improved by 5% with the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship airing in Q2 vs last year when it ran in Q1. The company also says that revenues from pay TV providers were up 18% with help from new retransmission consent deals and a pay-per-view boxing event. At the cable networks, including Showtime, revenues were up 16% to $518M while operating income was +9.8% to $202M. And at the Simon & Schuster publishing group revenues were flat at $189M but operating income was up to $20M from $7M last year with titles including Phil Robertson’s Happy, Happy, Happy and Cassandra Clare’s City Of Bones. Local TV and radio station revenues were down 1% to $698M without the political ads that helped last year’s results, but operating income was still up 4% to $234M. While investors likely will be impressed, most are focusing on other issues including what may happen with CBS’ retransmission consent showdown with Time Warner Cable and the health of the scatter ad market.
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