Tale of the tape: Leslie vs. Tom

By Published on .

Most Popular
Investors got their first look at the numbers from newly separated CBS Corp and Viacom last week, and what they found was fourth quarter and full year 2005 were challenging for both companies. CEOs Leslie Moonves and Tom Freston emphasized deals with search engines to supply video content and that moving forward they'd have a "clean slate." If you didn't have time to digest the results last week, here's all you need to know.

What's the stock done since the split:

Viacom: Fluctuated between $38.67 and $43.87. Chairman Sumner Redstone has said he wouldn't be disappointed if Viacom traded at $43 to $50.

CBS: Traded between $24.83 and $27.45 since Jan. 3.

How do fourth-quarter profits compare?

Viacom: Profit was $129.5 million, down 68% from previous year's quarter of $393 million

CBS: Net losses were $9.14 billion, narrower than the losses in the previous year's quarter at $18.4 billion

Corporate expenses for the quarter (or what it cost to fire folks and pay consultants to rearrange the chairs)

Viacom: $71 million in severance, $48 million at MTV; $23 million at Paramount; $32 million write off in film projects.

CBS: $42 million.

Salaries reported in company filings in April 2005 (including deferred compensation)

Tom: $4.2 million ($16 million bonus)

Les: $5.7 million ($14 million bonus)

Sumner Redstone: $4.97 million (bonus $16.5 million)

New-media street cred:

Viacom: Has agreements with Yahoo, AOL and TV Guide to provide content to their search engines. Is also in the midst of creating a rival to iTunes. MTV's "Urge" is a partnership with Microsoft.

CBS: Has deals with Google Video and Comcast to provide content from CBS and Showtime.

The picture in ad sales:

Viacom: Cable networks were up 16% for the quarter, 18% full year.

CBS: CBS and UPN saw a 4% rise in ad sales for the full year, fourth-quarter ad revenue up 6%.

What they're selling:

Viacom: DreamWorks film library

CBS: Paramount theme parks unit

Biggest challenge:

Viacom: Paramount dragged down a positive showing by the cable arm MTV Networks.

CBS: The CW (a merger of UPN with the WB) is already looking at a coast-to-coast, head-to-head battle now that Fox is pushing out a rival service called My Network TV.

Juiciest tidbit from results conference call:

Viacom's Tom: "We're in active discussions now with several content portals to make a larger content play."

CBS's Les: "Univision. We look at everything just because we have major FCC issues. As you know, our TV station groups are at their limit right now, our radio stations in many markets are at their limit. ... I don't think there is a media company in the world that isn't looking at Univision. You know, I don't want to comment any more than that, but the regulatory issues are pretty extreme there and you know, I don't foresee you know, anything further on that."

In this article: