What Will CBS Do With The Cash From Its Outdoor Initiatives?

The company’s stock is up about 10.3% this morning, to $41.86 — an all time high — as the smart money bets that CBS will repurchase shares after it carries out the complicated plan announced last night to restructure its billboard ad sales operation. But some wonder whether CEO Les Moonves will use the proceeds to hunt for acquisitions. An independent cable network or TV studio would “boost the company’s ability to create more owned content,” Nomura Equity Research’s Michael Nathanson observes. Moonves has said he’d be interested in Sony Pictures, although Sony insists it’s not for sale. Other possible targets include Hallmark, TV Guide Network, and AMC Networks, says Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger. What about Starz, which Liberty Media just spun off into an independent company? While there’s “plausible industrial logic” for CBS to go after the premium cable service, Juenger notes that “CBS flatly denies any interest.” Meanwhile Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser wonders whether Moonves’ decision to offload billboards suggests he might sell other seemingly non-core assets such as the Simon & Schuster book publishing division. (more…)

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2013/01/cbs-outdoor-cash-plans-acquisitions-reit-406477/