Dividend Expert Tunes in to CBS

02/09/2017 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Charles Carlson

Editor, DRIP Investor

I like media stocks, and one that has been a long-time holding of mine is CBS (CBS), notes Chuck Carlson, editor of DRIP Investor, which specializes in stocks offering dividend reinvestment plans.

The company has strengths in important areas of the media world, from a strong network television presence to leadership in cable and digital media.

One area in which CBS has done well is adapting to the digital world. Its CBS All Access and Showtime Anytime, as well as relationships with over-the-top streaming services such as Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu, have positioned the firm nicely to survive and thrive in the changing media landscape.

At the core of the company’s success is its quality content, much of it owned by CBS. Owning the content allows CBS to exploit distribution deals with many digital players, thus leveraging the long-term value of its content.

That gain should occur despite some advertising headwinds in 2017, including no elections bump nor benefit from the Super Bowl, the latter the firm aired in 2016 but will not air again until 2019.

One area that has often been a concern of investors is the firm’s ownership structure. Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements controls 80% of CBS’ voting shares. On the plus side, CBS does have one of the best managers in the business in CEO Leslie Moonves.

Trading at 14 times expected 2017 profits, CBS shares are reasonably priced given their strong assets and ample cash flow. The stock, yielding 1.1%, should see steady dividend increases.

Long-term growth prospects are excellent. The strong positioning in all things media is a big reason per-share profits should increase nearly 10% in 2017 to $4.44 per share.  The stock is a buy at current prices.

Please note that CBS offers a direct-purchase plan whereby any investor may buy the first share and every share directly from the company. Minimum initial investment is $250.

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