CBS (NYSE:CBS) announced its results for the third quarter on November 7, 2012. CBS is a mass media company with operations in entertainment, cable networks, publishing, local broadcasting, and radio.

Earnings are perhaps the single most studied number in a company's financial statements because they show a company's profitability. SEE: Surprising Earnings Results

The Numbers: CBS' EPS outpaced analyst estimates while the company's revenues came in below predictions. The company reported adjusted net income of 65 cents per share versus the 58 cents per share estimate and revenues of $3.42 billion versus the $3.78 billion estimate. Revenue climbed 1.6% from the same period last year. CBS' revenue rose last quarter after falling 3.1% to $3.48 billion in the second quarter. The company's net income for the quarter was $391 million. According to the reported number, this is up 15.7% from last year's figures. Last quarter marked the third in a row of rising net income.

Management Quote: "CBS has continued its remarkable run with yet another record quarter," said Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman, CBS Corporation. "Our world-class content and multiplatform distribution strategy remain at the center of our success. I am very proud of all that Leslie and his team have accomplished, and I know we are in position for continued growth for many years to come.The transformation of CBS continues as reflected in these record third quarter results," said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. "We have taken a number of significant steps during the last several months to execute our strategy and grow the Company. These include three major retransmission consent agreements, an important reverse compensation deal, new international and domestic streaming contracts, and the sale of our two new hit dramas, Vegas and Elementary, into international syndication. As we continue to take actions like these, we are increasing our recurring revenue from nonadvertising sources and setting ourselves up for even more record results in the future. Going forward, we will continue to expand the ways we achieve value for our content, and we are confident we will hit our goal of a record 2012 and an even better 2013."

A Look Back: Net income has increased 28.2% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the first quarter, when income climbed 79.7% from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: Expectations for the company's next-quarter performance are more favorable than they were a month ago. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is now at 63 cents per share, up from 63 cents. Increasing earnings estimate is a positive sign about the company and it typically leads a increase in the stock price. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $2.36 a share to $2.50 over the last ninety days.

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