Led by robust growth in its television and radio units, entertainment giant
reported a 36% jump in first-quarter revenue Tuesday and a narrower-than-expected loss.
New York-based CBS, which is close to completing its merger with
, said revenue for the quarter was $2.4 billion, vs. $1.8 billion a year ago.
As a result of noncash, after-tax losses of $75 million from equity investments in Internet-based companies, CBS said its loss from continuing operations for the first quarter totaled $40 million, or 5 cents a share, vs. income of $25 million, or 4 cents a share in the year earlier quarter. Analysts surveyed by
First Call/Thomson Financial
had projected a loss of 7 cents per share.
CBS' TV unit, buoyed by strong advertising pricing in the prime time, late night and the local spot markets, reported a 122% increase in revenue.
, CBS' radio and outdoor media subsidiary, reported revenue of $789 million, vs. $474 million a year ago, a 66% increase. The increase was in part due to Infinity's acquisition last year of outdoor ad company
, now called
. Infinity posted earnings of 5 cents per share, or $58 million, vs. 6 cents, or $48 million, a year ago. Analysts had projected the company to earn 3 cents per share.
"As extraordinary as the first quarter was, we are equally enthusiastic about the way the second quarter is pacing, with strong growth expected in all businesses," said Mel Karmazin, president and chief executive of CBS, in a statement. "Our consistent quarter-to-quarter momentum, coupled with the upcoming closing of our merger with Viacom, positions CBS for solid growth for this year and beyond."
CBS rose 2 1/4, or 4%, to 56 1/4 in afternoon trading. Infinity jumped 2 , or 7%, to 30 1/2. (CBS closed up 1 11/16, or 3%, at 55 11/16 while Infinity closed up 2 1/4, or 8%, at 30 3/4.)