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CBS reports 12% higher revenue in first quarter

May 1, 2012 |  1:35 pm

CBS Corp. reported solid earnings Tuesday on higher revenue and advertising sales.

The New York-based broadcasting company reported net earnings of $363 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, up from $202 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, over the year earlier period. The higher margin came from growth in operating income as well as lower weighted average shares as a result of the company's stock repurchase program.

For the quarter ended March 31, the broadcasting company reported revenue of $3.92 billion, an increase of 12% from the first quarter of 2011. CBS attributed the increase to content licensing and higher distribution fees. Advertising revenue was up 5%.

Investors have been expecting CBS to post a strong year -- lifted by hundreds of millions of dollars in political spending expected to flood its TV stations and fees paid by cable and satellite providers for the retransmission of CBS' broadcast signal. The company also is collecting millions in fees paid by online distributors, including Netflix.

CBS shares closed Tuesday at $33.42, up 4 cents.  The shares are trading 33% higher than last year at this time.

CBS owns its flagship CBS television network, which broadcasts such shows as "NCIS," "Survivor" and "Two and a Half Men," television and radio stations, a billboard unit, premium cable channel Showtime, and the Simon & Schuster publishing house.

CBS is expected to discuss its results in an earnings call with analysts later this afternoon.


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-- Meg James

Photo: CBS corporate logo.  Credit: CBS Corp.