CBS Q4 Earnings Hit All-Time High With $3.9 Billion in Revenue

Company posts earnings per share of $0.92, meeting analyst expectations

cbs earnings
CBS' logo on the iconography of a dollar bill

CBS reached an all-time high in its Q4 earnings, according to numbers released Thursday.

The company achieved $3.9 billion in revenue, beating expectations of $3.79 billion for the best quarter in company history. In addition, the company posted earnings per share of $0.92, in line with analyst expectations.

“We had a terrific fourth quarter, and CBS is now in position to build strong momentum throughout 2016,” said Leslie Moonves, chairman, president and CEO of CBS Corporation. “Our base businesses are growing well, thanks to the strength of our premium content and the continued improvement in the advertising marketplace.”

“The international market is extremely exciting as well, with demand for our CBS programming higher than ever and new deals that are changing the way we license the Showtime brand overseas,” he continued. “Plus, our new streaming services — CBS All Access, CBSN, and Showtime over the top — are attracting a whole new set of younger viewers on better economic terms. So no matter how quickly the digital world changes — and no matter how viewers want their content — CBS is positioned to succeed.”

Revenues of $3.91 billion for the fourth quarter of 2015 were up 6% from $3.68 billion for the prior-year period. The growth was driven by a 16 percent increase in content licensing and distribution revenues, reflecting higher international television licensing sales.

Affiliate and subscription fees grew 13 percent, driven by continued increases in retransmission revenues and fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations. Advertising revenues increased 1 percent, led by 8 percent growth in network advertising, which was partially offset by the benefit to Local Broadcasting in 2014 from political revenues.

Full year 2015 revenues were $13.89 billion, up 1 percent from $13.81 billion in 2014. The growth was driven by a 15 percent increase in affiliate and subscription fees, reflecting higher rates, as well as increased revenues from pay-per-view boxing events.

Advertising revenues decreased 3 percent, reflecting a decline in local advertising revenues as a result of the benefit to 2014 from the midterm elections and lower radio advertising. Overall advertising revenues benefited from a 1 percent increase in network advertising, primarily driven by higher scatter pricing in the second half of the year, which offset the impact of broadcasting fewer sporting events on the CBS Television Network.

Content licensing and distribution revenues were down 2 percent, reflecting lower domestic television licensing revenues, which were partially offset by higher international television licensing revenues.

The news comes just over a week after Moonves has been named chairman of CBS Corp, replacing executive chairman Sumner Redstone as the head of the company’s board.

Redstone has been named chairman emeritus. His daughter Shari Redstone will continue as vice chair of the company. Moonves will still continue to serve as president and CEO of CBS.