CBS quarterly revenue, profit beat estimates on healthy ad sales

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(Reuters) – Media company CBS Corp, which is in merger talks with Viacom Inc, topped revenue and profit estimates on Thursday, helped by healthy ad sales and higher revenue from affiliate and subscription fees.

FILE PHOTO: 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/File Photo

Shares of the company were up nearly 3 percent at $50.80 in extended trading.

The New York-based company’s results come at a key juncture as CBS and Viacom, which are both controlled by Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari, announced in February that they were exploring a potential deal and in recent weeks have begun negotiations.

The company said affiliate and subscription fees revenue – which includes revenue from cable and satellite TV operators and from online streaming providers, including its own All Access offering – rose 16.3 percent in the first quarter.

Advertising revenue rose 8.1 percent to $1.73 billion.

The owner of the most-watched U.S. television network reported net income from continuing operations of $511 million, or $1.32 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, up from $454 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, CBS reported a profit of $1.34 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.19, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

CBS, home to popular shows such as “Big Bang Theory,” and “NCIS”, said revenue rose 12.5 percent to $3.76 billion. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.64 billion.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Jessica Toonkel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr

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