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Earnings: CBS Swings To Loss On 12.5 Billion Write-Down; Q3 Revs Rise 3 Percent

True to its warnings about lower earnings earlier this month, CBS (NYSE: CBS) Q3 net earnings from continuing operations came in with a loss of $12.46 billion, or a loss of $18.58 per diluted share, versus earnings of $340.2 million, or $.48
per diluted share, for the same prior-year period. The earnings report also highlighted a $56.4 million write-down on items associated with “other-than-temporary declines in the market value” CBS’ investments. Revenues, meanwhile, were up 3 percent to $3.38 billion in Q3, which were driven by the addition of CNET and domestic cable sales of CSI: New York, though offset by lower ad sales. As Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp., said during the earnings call, “any increase in revenue is welcome in this difficult environment.”

Interactive: Interactive revs ballooned to $140.7 million from $35.9 million for the same quarter last year, thanks to CNET (NSDQ: CNET). On a comparable basis, including CNET in prior year results, revenues gained 6 percent driven by 12 percent growth in display advertising. Interactive OIBDA was $2.5 million compared to a loss of $11.2 million in Q307. Things were not all roses on the interactive side however, as the segment posted an operating loss of $15.2 million in Q3 versus an operating loss of $13.3 million related to increased expenses associated the acquisition of CNET. Interactive results included stock-based compensation expense of $1.9 million and $.6 million for Q307 and this year’s Q3, respectively. During the call, Moonves noted: CBS ranked 110 uniques two years ago, number 7 today, as a result of CNET. More to come

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