CBS Corp. swung to a profit in the fourth quarter from a year ago period that included a major charge to write down the value of its television and radio businesses, the company said Tuesday.
CBS reported net income of $335 million, or 43 cents per share, in the October-December period. A year ago, the company posted a loss of $9.14 billion, or $12 per share. That included a charge of $9.48 billion for the asset impairment.
Adjusted to exclude items, earnings from continuing operations were $464 million, or 60 cents per share, versus $321.5 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago.
The gain was driven by stronger results in television, outdoor advertising and publishing, which partially offset continued weakness at the company's radio unit.
Analysts, whose estimates typically exclude items, were looking for profit of 47 cents per share.
Revenue rose 2 percent to $3.88 billion from $3.79 billion a year ago and beat the Street's estimate of $3.83 billion. The revenue gain was driven by a 10 percent rise in the outdoor advertising unit, which sells ads on billboards and bus shelters.
In morning trading, CBS shares rose 35 cents to $31.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Operating earnings before interest payments, depreciation and amortization, and adjusted to exclude the impairment charge, surged 11 percent to $860.1 million, as a 20 percent increase in television more than offset a 2 percent decline at radio.
Television revenue added 3 percent, bolstered by growth in license fees and affiliate revenue. Radio, long the sick man at the company and responsible for $3 billion of the writedown a year ago, saw revenue slump 8 percent. CBS blamed programming changes at 27 stations and the overall decline in radio advertising.
The fourth quarter of 2005 was the first for CBS as a standalone company after it split from Viacom Inc.
For the year, CBS reported earnings of $1.66 billion, or $2.15 per share on 1 percent higher revenue of $14.32 billion.
Looking ahead, the company said net 2007 revenue and operating income will be "comparable" to last year's results, with any growth dampened by higher expenses for stock payments and lost revenue and earnings from radio and television stations that it sold in 2006.
CBS also raised its quarterly dividend 10 percent to 22 cents and announced a buyback of $1.5 billion of its shares. In November, the company told Wall Street it would seek authorization for a stock repurchase in 2007.
When CBS split from Viacom, it began paying a dividend of 14 cents, saying it intended to return capital to investors as its businesses generate cash. At the end of December, CBS was sitting on $3.07 billion in cash and cash equivalents.