November 1, 2018 / 8:12 PM / 18 days ago

CBS third-quarter revenue, profit tops estimates

The CBS television network logo is seen outside their offices on 6th avenue in New York, U.S. on May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

(Reuters) - TV broadcaster and media company CBS Corp (CBS.N) beat analysts’ estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit on Thursday, boosted by strong advertising sales and higher digital subscriptions.

CBS, home to popular shows such as the “Big Bang Theory,” and “NCIS”, said advertising revenue during the reported quarter rose 14.2 percent to $1.26 billion (968.93 million pounds).

“We are confident that our strategy of growing CBS’ leadership position as a global multi-platform premium content company will lead to even greater creative and financial heights in the years to come,” said Joe Ianniello, interim Chief Executive Officer of CBS.

The New York-based company’s results is its first report card since Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves resigned amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment. At stake is $120 million in severance payments owed to Moonves if the investigation proves Moonves did not leave the company for cause. The investigation and a board review of the findings is due by Jan. 31, 2019.

Former Chief Operating Officer Ianniello replaced Moonves as interim CEO while the company moves quickly to search for a replacement. Ianniello is in the running, sources have told Reuters.

An investigation into the allegations against Moonves and the culture of CBS by two law firms, Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton, continue.

However, CBS said affiliate and subscription fees revenue — which includes revenue from cable and satellite TV operators and online streaming providers, including its own All Access offering — fell 12 percent to $1.01 billion.

Net income from continuing operations rose to $488 million, or $1.29 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $418 million, or $1.03 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.24 per share. Total revenue rose 3 percent to $3.26 billion, beating Wall Street expectations of a profit of $1.22 per share on revenue of $3.24 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and Kenneth Li in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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