Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- CBS Corp., owner of the most-watched U.S. television network, reported third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as distribution and licensing sales gained.
Profit rose to 50 cents a share, New York-based CBS said today in a statement. Analysts had estimated 46 cents, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Sales climbed 2.1 percent to $3.37 billion, compared with average analyst estimate of $3.44 billion. Distribution revenue and content licensing increased 4.7 percent, the company said.
CBS, controlled by 88-year-old Chairman Sumner Redstone, gets more revenue from advertising than other major U.S. media companies. To decrease its dependence on the U.S. ad market, CBS has pursued international expansion and deals with online distributors such as Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Hulu LLC’s service in Japan.
Net earnings increased 6.6 percent to $338 million, from $317 million a year earlier.
CBS fell 1.7 percent to $24.52 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 29 percent this year.
CBS struck a deal with Netflix last month that gave the online movie video service streaming rights to the full lineup of shows from CW, the joint venture between CBS and Time Warner Inc. Mike Morris, an analyst at Davenport & Co., estimates CBS and Time Warner would each receive $30 million in the first year of the deal.
The company also said today it would increase its stock buyback program by $1.5 billion.
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