Shares of CBS Corporation (CBS) recorded a new 52-week high of $55.58 yesterday, gaining momentum from phenomenal second-quarter 2013 results. At the end of the trading session, the stock closed at $54.88, up approximately 40% year to date.
The current price is 4.8% above the Zacks Consensus average price target of $52.39. Moreover, the stock is currently trading at a forward P/E of 17.9x, a marginal discount to the peer group average of 18.0x. The long-term EPS growth rate stands strong at 11.4%.
CBS Corporation posted the highest ever quarterly profits in its history. Higher licensing and affiliate income boosted the quarterly profits. Moreover, lower interest expenses and share buybacks cushioned the bottom line.
The quarterly earnings of 76 cents a share comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 72 cents and jumped 12% year over year. Total revenue of $3,699 million for the quarter handily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,512 million and increased 11% from the prior-year quarter.
Going forward, the company is poised to benefit from its strategic expansion initiatives. We expect its growth momentum to continue in 2013 based on reverse compensation from affiliates, strong demand of its content, digital distribution, syndication sales and retransmission consent.
Moreover, CBS Corporation is focused on lowering its dependency on advertising and is laying more emphasis on increasing subscription based revenue channels. The company’s non-advertising revenue now accounts for 43% of the company’s total revenue. This remains a positive as advertising revenue is highly susceptible to economic headwinds.
CBS also acquired the remaining 50% stake in TV Guide Digital, including the TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile properties from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF), which is believed to be a major boost for the company’s digital business.
Currently, CBS holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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