CBS Tops Estimates: Revenue Up 8%; Redstone Calls Moonves a ‘Genius’

The conglomerate’s chairman touts the company’s “absolutely terrific” showing amid a revived advertising market

Last Updated: August 2, 2011 @ 2:45 PM

Wall Street’s already upbeat  predictions for CBS Corp. were topped by the media titan’s actual performance Tuesday as advertising led a surge across several revenue streams.

Chariman of the board Sumner Redstone opened the earnings report kvelling about the company's "absolutely terrific" showing, while even declaring president and CEO Les Moonves "a genius".

Following market close, CBS reported quarterly net earnings of $395 million, contrasting with  the $150 million figure of a year ago.

Revenue was up 8 percent, at $3.6 billion, again exceeding expectations.

Even up against the high bar set last year by the dual  gifts of expanded political advertising and a boost from the NCAA men’s basketball finals — divided this year with Time Warner — ad revenue ticked up  3 percent.

Moonves and Chief Financial Officer Joe Ianniello noted that the assurance that there would be an NFL season gave cause for still greater optimism, while also citing refreshed activity in ads from Japanse automakers "coming back." 

Moonves added that recent content deals with Netflix and Amazon were derived totally from shows that are not currently airing, and cited the three versions of C.S.I. currently on the air as typifying the upside for future streaming video deals —“We will get a lot of money for those.”

Th report emphasized CBS' dominance in the prime time television ratings, but Moonves was quick to point out that the corporation was enjoying "near record profit levels across the board."