In a morning conference call, CBS Corp. reported a net income of $335 million, or $.43 per share, and a 14% increase is operating income for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2006. "CBS' first year out of the gate was a great one," Redstone said during the call.
CBS also announced plans to buy back $1.5 billion in shares and raised its dividend 10% to $.22 a share.
Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter 2006 increased 44% to $464 million, or $.60 per share, from $321.5 last year, or $.42 per share. Fourth quarter last year the company posted a loss of $9.23 billion, or $12.12 per share, after writing down its broadcasting and radio assets from its separation from Viacom.
The company also reported an operating income of $759.3, up 14% from the previous year.
"CBS' fourth quarter results capped off a strong first year as a stand-alone company," said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, in a statement.
Moonves emphasized during the call the importance of CBS' effort to receive payment for retransmission from cable operators. Last week the company announced just such a deal with nine cable operators covering over a million subscribers.
Thanks to a strong second-cycle cable syndication of Star Trek: Voyager CBS television revenue rose 3% to $2.6 billion. The company also saw a 10% growth in sales of outdoor advertising. Publishing revenues also increased by 7%. CBS Radio, however, saw a decrease 8% from the previous year to $498.2 million.
For the full year of 2006 CBS saw revenues rise 1% to $14.3 billion.
CBS predicted that revenue and operating income in 2007, thanks to the sale of 39 radio stations and nine television stations as well as the shutdown of UPN, will be comparable to 2006.