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Gains in affiliate, subscription fees boost CBS Corp.'s Q2 earnings

CBS Corp. on Aug. 8 reported double-digit revenue percentage growth in the second quarter, driven largely by increases in content licensing and affiliate and subscription fee revenues.

The company's quarterly revenue for the period ended June 30 jumped to $3.81 billion from $3.47 billion in the comparable 2018 quarter. Revenue at the company's entertainment segment, which includes the CBS broadcast network and CBS Interactive, came to $2.74 billion, up from $2.40 billion a year ago.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate for consolidated revenue was $3.71 billion.

CBS Corp.'s advertising revenues grew 7% to $1.42 billion, driven by CBS' broadcast of the national semifinals and the championship game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.

Content licensing and distribution revenues grew 12% year over year to $1.22 billion, lifted by higher domestic licensing sales. Affiliate and subscription fee revenues rose 13% to $1.11 billion, led by growth in the company's direct-to-consumer streaming services and increases in fees from CBS Television Network-affiliated stations and retransmission revenues.

"Our direct-to-consumer services, CBS All Access and Showtime, continue to perform strongly, helping fuel a 13% increase in affiliate and subscription fee revenue for the quarter. And we remain on track to reach our goal of 25 million subscribers combined by 2022," said President and acting CEO Joe Ianniello in a statement.

The company's net earnings for the second quarter increased 10% to $440 million, or $1.17 per share, from $400 million, or $1.05 per share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted net earnings increased to $435 million, or $1.16 per share, from $427 million, or $1.12 per share, in the second quarter of 2018.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate for the just-ended quarter was $1.13 and $1.12 on a normalized and GAAP basis, respectively.