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CBS 3Q earns beats views, revenue comes up short

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm •  Published: November 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Broadcaster CBS Corp. said Wednesday that its third-quarter earnings rose 16 percent from a year ago as a decline in advertising revenue was offset by higher fees from TV distributors.

The New York-based company said ad revenue fell 3 percent due to poor results from CBS Radio and the impact of having programs pre-empted by the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Viewer attention was also drawn away by the London Olympics on NBC.

CBS said the decline in ad revenue and audiences was an aberration that would fix itself in the current quarter, which would also see an unusually high proportion of political ad spending compared to previous presidential elections.

Net income in the three months to Sept. 30 rose to $391 million, or 60 cents per share. That's up from $338 million, or 50 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding a loss on charges for early debt retirement, adjusted earnings came to 65 cents per share, beating the 61 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose less than 2 percent to $3.42 billion. Analysts expected $3.49 billion.

CEO Les Moonves said in a conference call with analysts that CBS is considering becoming more flexible in its deals with online video providers like Netflix Inc. and Hulu Plus. Until now CBS has only licensed past seasons of shows that were no longer on the air, such as Medium or Numb3rs.

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