Shares of CBS Corporation (CBS) reached a new 52-week high of $46.13 on Friday, Mar 8, gaining momentum from the company’s strategic initiatives focused on driving growth through affiliate and subscription deals coupled with the restructuring of CBS Outdoor. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) mass media company eventually closed at $46.00, recording a healthy return of 17.4% year-to-date.
Drivers that Triggered Momentum
CBS remains well positioned to drive growth in the coming quarters through its strategic initiatives focused on increasing subscription based revenue channels. The company remains optimistic and expects growth momentum to continue in 2013 based on reverse compensation from affiliates, strong demand of its content, digital distribution, syndication sales and retransmission consent.
CBS is eyeing around $1 billion in retransmission and reverse compensation revenues by 2017. The company also remains positive about CBS Television Network being the growth driver.
Moreover, in a strategic move to unlock the value of the assets, CBS decided to convert its CBS Outdoor operations in North America and South America into a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) and divest its Outdoor businesses in Europe and Asia.
We believe CBS Corporation’s decision regarding the Outdoor business would augur well for the company, as it would lower its dependency on advertising, which remains vulnerable to the economy’s health.
Stock’s Key Indicators
CBS currently trades at a forward P/E of 15.54x, a 9.7% discount with the industry average of 17.21x. Its price-to-sales ratio of 1.99 is also below the industry average of 2.97. Moreover, the company generates return-on-equity (:ROE) and return-on-investment (ROI) of 16.0% and 10.1%, respectively. The company’s strong fundamentals are well supported by its long-term estimated EPS growth rate of 11.7%.
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