The EPS figure of $1.16 beat Wall Street estimates by three cents and revenue of $3.81 billion also cleared the bar set by analysts by a good $100 million, up 10% from the year-earlier period.
Advertising revenues grew 7% , which the company credited to broadcasts on CBS of April’s national semifinals and championship game of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The company expects a record full-year ad revenue tally.
Content licensing and distribution revenues rose 12%, which the company said stemmed from higher domestic licensing sales. Affiliate and subscription fee revenues rose 13%, reflecting growth from the Company’s direct-to-consumer streaming services and increases in fees from the CBS affiliate stations and retransmission revenues, driven by virtual MVPDs.
The cable networks unit saw a slight uptick in revenue, but operating income declined to $185 million from $245 million in the year-earlier period.
Merger talks are continuing between CBS and Viacom, which are due to reunite 13 years after splitting apart. Viacom earlier Thursday reported quarterly results that beat Wall Street forecasts.
“We continue to execute on our long-term growth strategy, which is to invest in our premium content and direct-to-consumer streaming services,” acting CEO Joe Ianniello said in the CBS earnings release. “Our direct-to-consumer services, CBS All Access and Showtime, continue to perform strongly, helping fuel a 13% increase in affiliate and subscription fee revenue for the quarter. And we remain on track to reach our goal of 25 million subscribers combined by 2022.”