CBS Posts Quarterly Loss Due to Net Investments

FRAMINGHAM (04/27/2000) - CBS Corp. Tuesday attributed a first-quarter net loss of $38 million, or 5 cents per share, to $75 million it invested in its Internet companies and operations. Even so, the company beat Wall Street estimates of a loss of 7 cents per share.

CBS is a significant investor in CBS.MarketWatch.com, as well as SportsLine.com, Hollywood.com, Switchboard.com and other properties. Noncash losses on the operations include "multiyear advertising and promotion" investments, the company reported.

The broadcasting company said it posted record revenue of $2.4 billion for the quarter ending March 31, up from $1.8 billion for the same period a year ago, thanks to its television and Infinity Broadcasting Corp. operations.

CBS's network competitors NBC and ABC have also seen significant drops in stock prices of their respective Internet divisions, NBCi and Go.com.

CBS President Mel Karmazin said in a statement that CBS would maintain a methodical approach to its Internet business model and that it currently has no plans to spin off the Internet companies as independent entities.

On Monday, NBC announced a pro forma net loss of $37.4 million, or 67 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2000, compared with a pro forma net loss of $50.9 million, or $1.63 per share, for the fourth quarter of 1999.

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