CBS tops estimates on healthy ad sales

CBS, which is usually in tough merger talks with Viacom, topped revenue along with profit estimates on Thursday, helped by healthy ad sales along with higher revenue via affiliate along with subscription fees.

The fresh York-based company, whose shows include “Big Bang Theory” along with “NCIS” reported strong results as the item along with Viacom, which are both controlled by Sumner Redstone along with his daughter Shari, have begun tough negotiations over cost along with management of a combined company.

Shares of the company were slightly higher in after-hours trading.

CBS executives declined to comment on merger talks with Viacom on the analyst call Thursday, along with Chief Executive Leslie Moonves was upbeat about the company’s ability to continue to grow based on its current strategy of increasing revenue outside of advertising.

“The strategy in which we have laid out for you is usually clearly working along with the not bad news is usually in which there is usually much more to come,” Moonves said on the call.

The owner of the most-watched U.S. television network said affiliate along with subscription fees revenue which includes revenue via cable along with satellite TV operators along with via online streaming providers, including its own All Access offering rose 16.3 percent inside first quarter.

More than two-thirds of subscribers to CBS’ online streaming offerings are electing to pay more for the services to watch them without ads, said CBS Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello, on the call.

“This specific number should only increase,” he said, which should help reduce dependence on advertising for revenue.

Advertising revenue rose 8.1 percent to $1.73 billion along with CBS executives said they expected continued growth in advertising beyond 2018.

CBS reported net income via continuing operations of $511 million, or $1.32 per share, inside first quarter ended March 31, up via $454 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, CBS reported a profit of $1.34 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.19, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

CBS said revenue rose 12.5 percent to $3.76 billion. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.64 billion.

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