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CBS Reports Huge Profit Drop; CEO Bouyant

CBS reports an 83% decline in second-quarter operating earnings, but its CEO makes some ameliorative remarks about the second half of the year.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Media conglomerate CBS (CBS) - Get CBS Corporation Class B Report continues to believe that the advertising recession is abating, judging by the remarks of its chief, Leslie Moonves, in the company's second-quarter earnings report.

The report itself showed a huge fall-off on both the bottom and top lines compared with a year ago. But the rate of decline was expected by Wall Street.

In after-hours trading Thursday, CBS stock was changing hands at $8.66, up 12 cents from its close in the regular session, when it lost 4%.

"We continue to believe that the back half of the year will be considerably stronger than the first," Moonves said in a prepared statement.

The advertising recession, which had shown signs of slowing in the first quarter, has continued to do so, Moonves suggested: "As we anticipated, early signs of a recovery took hold in the second quarter, and our revenue, profit and EPS trends were all better than in the first quarter."

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Excluding items, adjusted earnings plunged 83% to $57 million, or 8 cents a share, from the $330 million, or 49 cents a share, that CBS earned a year ago. Including various charges and items, the decline was even worse: net income in the second quarter was 96% less than the year-earlier period.

Revenue at all of the company's segments declined year-over-year, except at its Interactive unit, where the top line increased to $126 million from $40 million a year ago.

But overall revenue decreased to a much lesser extent -- down 3% to $3 billion -- than did the company's bottom line.

-- Reported by Scott Eden in New York

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