For the quarter, CBS increased overall revenues by 2% to $3.9 billion. Operating income was $681.5 million, compared to a massive loss of $8.8 billion in the previous year's quarter, due to significant non-cash impairment charges. Net income from continuing operations came in at $0.43 per diluted share, versus a net loss of more than $12 per diluted share in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, the per-share earnings become $0.60 versus $0.42, good for a 43% gain.
Those quarterly figures aren't bad at all. However, as Rick Munarriz pointed out in a previous article, they show that CBS isn't for investors angling solely for rocketing top-line achievement. Instead, they suggest that CBS is out to grow its bottom line. For the year, we again see a piddling increase in revenues, but on an adjusted basis, net income from continuing operations grew 19% to $1.85 per diluted share, compared to $1.55 per diluted share in the prior fiscal year.
Income investors have most likely noticed that CBS is definitely into sharing the wealth. Unlocking the company's cash-generating potential was one of the major reasons for the former Viacom's
In addition, CBS wants to repurchase $1.5 billion of its own stock. Talk about having faith in your own performance! CEO Leslie Moonves surprised few when he said that the buyback and dividend raise signal confidence in future cash flows. Free cash flow for the year, adjusted for discontinued operations, increased 8% to $1.6 billion. With this level of cash generation, CBS can easily meet its dividend obligations.
It's been an exciting year for CBS. Besides the dividend increases, CBS sold off its theme-park business, merged its UPN operations with Time Warner
Most recently, CBS made headway in getting cable operators to pay up for rebroadcasting its programming. This kind of income stream is important for ABC, General Electric's
I've stated before that I favor Viacom over CBS, because I like the prospects of the former company's MTV brand. Still, I have to admit that I'm warming up to CBS. With bottom-line growth, dividend increases, share buybacks, and a 2.8% yield based on the current stock price, how can I not? At present, this media company offers an eyeful of long-term potential.
The Foolish broadcast continues:
Time Warner and Disney are both Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. To see what other great stocks have been selected, take a free 30-day trial to the newsletter service today.
Entercom is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney and General Electric. As of this writing, he was ranked 16,184 out of 23,493 investors in CAPS. The Fool has a disclosure policy; no viewer discretion needed.