CBS 4Q results fall short of expectations

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013

"The underlying trends driving their cash-flow-generating capacity are no different now than they were a day ago," he said.

CBS also said Thursday that it would double its share buyback program by $1 billion in 2013.

CBS is preparing to spin off its outdoor billboard business in North America into a real estate investment trust, which should return a high proportion of its cash flow to investors. It is also planning to sell its European outdoor operations.

Chief Financial Officer Joe Ianniello said the planned conversion of the Americas outdoor business into a REIT was on track for 2014, but said the company would also entertain offers to buy it outright.

Excluding the European operations, the outdoor billboard segment's revenue fell, which CBS blamed on the non-renewal of a contract in Toronto.

Macquarie analyst Tim Nollen said two factors were behind the CBS's quarterly miss: A temporary pullback in ad spending among retailers at local TV stations, and the fact that some analysts had not yet adjusted their estimates to reflect that CBS' no longer counts its European outdoor billboard business earnings as part of its results.

"Some of the items that hurt them in the fourth quarter look like they are not anything more than one-offs," he said. "The growth story in the first quarter still looks very good."