Sales Softness Hits CBS - TheStreet

Sales Softness Hits CBS

Shares decline as the media conglomerate's revenue misses expectations.
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slipped 2% Tuesday after the media conglomerate posted a drop in second-quarter profits and revenue that missed expectations.

The company's earnings for the period fell to $404 million, or 55 cents a share, from $781.7 million, or $1.02 a share, a year earlier. The year-ago results included a $291.9 million gain tied to the sale of Paramount theme parks. As well, it included a $129 million tax benefit.

On an adjusted basis, which excludes one-time items in both periods, earnings from continuing operations rose to $393.1 million, or 54 cents a share, from $360.8 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial projected earnings of 51 cents a share.

Revenue dropped 3% to $3.37 billion from $3.48 billion a year earlier, missing Wall Street's target of $3.42 billion. The top line was pulled down by declines in CBS' television and radio divisions.

TV revenue dropped 4% to $2.16 billion. CBS attributed the decline to an unfavorable shift in timing of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the absence of its defunct UPN network and the impact of television-station divestitures. The company said these factors masked underlying strength at the division.

Radio revenue slid 11% to $463.4 million, reflecting the sale of radio stations in 10 markets, as well as advertising weakness. On a same-station basis, which excludes the sold stations, radio revenue dropped 5%.

Elsewhere, revenue from outdoor advertising climbed 4% to $554.2 million. The publishing division, consisting of the Simon & Schuster nameplate, recorded a 14% revenue gain to $200.3 million.

For the full year, CBS expects revenue and operating income to be comparable to that of 2006, reflecting the radio and TV station sales, the shutdown of UPN and the nonrenewal of several urban outdoor transit contracts.

Shares recently were down 75 cents, or 2.3%, to $32.02.