CBS Stock Higher Today After Time Warner CEO Hints at Merger

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of CBS Corp. (CBS) are up 2.8% to $53.96 after Time Warner (TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes addressed the idea of eventual consolidation involving rival media companies CBS and Viacom (VIAB) , while steering clear of any specifics, Bloomberg reports.

Consolidation is among the themes in the industry as big television networks are being forced to reshape their business models to stem the exodus of viewers and advertising dollars to digital platforms.

When asked about the future of Viacom and CBS, and whether they could combine with Time Warner, Bewkes said "they may want to be a merger partner for somebody or maybe even for themselves," according to Bloomberg.

"I know something about it, but I don't want to talk about it," he said yesterday at a conference in New York.

Separately, CBS, owner of the most-watched U.S. TV network, extended the contract of CEO Leslie Moonves through June 2019, keeping him in the top post for an extra two years, Bloomberg reported.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CBS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CBS CORP (CBS) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income increased by 231.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $494.00 million to $1,639.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.92, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.05, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, CBS CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CBS Ratings Report

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