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CBS Corp (NYSE:CNS) delivers healthy Q3 report ahead of Viacom merger

 

  • Media company posts $0.95 EPS and $3.3bn revenue.
  • Last report before $30bn merger with Viacom, which will take place in December.
  • European chipmaker Infineon shares also rise after Q4 beats.
  • Warns semiconductor market may not rebound to growth until second half of 2020.

 

CBS Corp (NYSE:CNS) posted earnings and revenue roughly in line with the Wall Street consensus on Tuesday as the multinational media conglomerate’s stock continued on a recent upward curve, rising 1.45% in afternoon trading for a per-share price of $39.75.

Heading into the report, analysts were expecting EPS to decline 25% year-over-year to $0.93 and revenue to climb 3.4% during the same period to $3.37bn.

CBS has posted EPS beats on 88% of occasions during the last two years, and it did so again in Q3 with the $0.95 earnings coming in three cents ahead of forecasts despite a 23.4% drop off from Q3 2018.

Group revenues did rise as expected, but the figure of $3.3bn fell just short of expectations, although CEO Joe Ianniello noted in a conference call that it was a “record.”

Ianniello outlined the company’s commitment to investing in premium content and services centred around direct-to-consumer streaming, which is now the “cornerstone” of its strategy to drive growth into 2020.

He added: “During the quarter, our direct-to-consumer revenue from CBS All Access and Showtime OTT grew 39% from last year, driven by a strong slate of original programming.”

Ianniello also hailed the success of CBS Television Network as it edges closer to being the “most-watched network for the 12th consecutive year” and its ability to produce a string of hit shows that resonate with audiences.

CBS shares have bumped around negative territory during 2019, but a modest rise of +1.2% was evident in Tuesday’s premarket.

Shares were easing higher on Tuesday, but the current price of $37.75 remains around $10 short of the average price target of $48.41. The Wall Street high PT is $68.

Europe’s biggest chipmaker, Infineon Technologies (ETR:IFX), also advanced 5.7% on Tuesday despite warning that the global semiconductor markets could struggle to rebound to growth until H2 2020.

The German company did impress with revenues of $2.273bn in Q4, a 1% hike from a year ago and followed up with guidance of 5% revenue growth for FY 2020 — even as the broader market toils.

Net income was healthy during the three-month period to 30th September 2019, rising 14.2% year-over-year to €161m.

CEO Reinhard Ploss said a “challenging” fiscal year had ended on a high as key targets were achieved and again pointed to general economic uncertainty and weak global demand as headwinds for the coming months.