Shares of These Entertainment Stocks are Diverging After Earnings

CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter.  Net income for the broadcasting company rose to $338 million (50 cents per share) vs. $317.3 million (46 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 6.5% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 2% to $3.37 billion from the year earlier quarter. CBS beat the mean analyst estimate of 46 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.43 billion.

“These third quarter numbers speak to the strength, stability and progress of our operations,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “Once again, we turned top-line growth into strong double-digit OIBDA and EPS growth, while continuing to produce spectacular free cash flow year-to-date. Across the board, we have transformed CBS into a content company designed to perform in any environment. So far this season, the CBS Television Network is significantly outpacing the field with more programs in the top ten and top twenty in all key measures than all the other networks combined. Plus, we’re adding to the Network’s roster of up and coming shows with the #1 new comedy and the #1 new drama on television. Meanwhile, we continue to monetize our enormous library on new platforms, including domestic and international streaming deals signed since last quarter worth hundreds of millions of dollars. These content licensing deals are increasing the stability of our revenue base, and we are tracking ahead of our strategy to increase our mix toward more recurring, non-advertising revenue streams. Going forward, we are confident that we will close out 2011 strongly, and look forward to a terrific 2012 in which we will increasingly benefit from online video, retransmission consent, reverse compensation from affiliates, international and local opportunities as well as political advertising that promises to be very robust.”

Competitors to Watch: The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NYSE:SNI), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Cumulus Media Inc. (NASDAQ:CMLS), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH), DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Radio One, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROIAK), AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL), Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE:ETM), and Entravision Communication (NYSE:EVC).

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:WWE) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fell to $10.6 million (14 cents per share) vs. $14.3 million (19 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 26.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 1% to $108.5 million from the year earlier quarter. WWE reported adjusted net income of 19 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 15 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $106.7 million.

“In the third quarter, our results reflected the Company’s continued focus on improving business results in a difficult environment,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Despite the challenging economic headwinds, both domestically and abroad, we generated increased profits across a majority of our businesses, with the main exception being our film business which we continue to monitor and refine to improve future performance. We believe the sluggish economy and our ongoing talent transition were important factors that affected the results of our other businesses. Based on our history of developing talent and creating content with broad appeal, we are confident we can address our creative challenges. Further, by taking advantage of our strategic opportunities, including the anticipated 2012 launch of a WWE network, we can achieve meaningful growth.”

Competitors to Watch: CKX Inc. (NASDAQ:CKXE), CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:LYV), DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (NASDAQ:DWA), Madison Square Garden, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSG), Global Entertainment Corp. (GNTP), and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ:CIDM).