Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CBS (NYSE:CBS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of CBS have underperformed the industry in the past six months. CBS, which remains highly vulnerable to the advertising market, is likely to report weaker political advertising revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the prior-year quarter, the company benefited from strong political advertising. Moreover, currency fluctuations and higher expenditure for original programming might prove to be a drag. However, increasing demand for content, rise in retransmission rates, expansion of direct-to-consumer business and sturdy digital presence bode well. We believe with the launch of Showtime's streaming service; online news channel, CBSN; and over-the-top service, CBS All Access, the company is generating incremental revenues. Moreover, the company aims to attain $2.5 billion of revenues from retransmission and reverse compensation by 2020.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on CBS. Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of CBS in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. B. Riley reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of CBS in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Rosenblatt Securities reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of CBS in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $70.00 target price (down previously from $80.00) on shares of CBS in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of CBS in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $72.04.

Shares of CBS (NYSE CBS) traded up $1.05 on Monday, hitting $58.83. 6,280,314 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,010,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.03, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 1.10. CBS has a 12-month low of $52.75 and a 12-month high of $70.10. The stock has a market capitalization of $23,550.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.10, a P/E/G ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.62.

CBS (NYSE:CBS) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The media conglomerate reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.04. CBS had a net margin of 2.14% and a return on equity of 58.49%. The company had revenue of $3.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.26 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.05 earnings per share. CBS’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that CBS will post 4.4 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 11th were given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 8th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.22%. CBS’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.93%.

In other news, CEO Leslie Moonves sold 85,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.85, for a total transaction of $4,917,250.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 884,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $51,169,077.05. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Arnold Kopelson sold 5,093 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.51, for a total transaction of $303,084.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 100,279 shares of company stock worth $5,794,978 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.03% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in CBS by 3.5% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 356,700 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $22,750,000 after acquiring an additional 12,000 shares in the last quarter. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. raised its holdings in CBS by 16.9% in the second quarter. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. now owns 59,504 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $3,795,000 after acquiring an additional 8,600 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its holdings in CBS by 0.7% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 419,333 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $26,774,000 after acquiring an additional 2,817 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank raised its holdings in CBS by 53.2% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 42,344 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $2,701,000 after acquiring an additional 14,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its holdings in CBS by 2.7% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 14,130 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $901,000 after acquiring an additional 370 shares in the last quarter. 74.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About CBS

CBS Corporation is a mass media company. The Company operates through four segment: Entertainment, Cable Networks, Publishing, Local Media. The Entertainment segment comprises the CBS TV Network; CBS TV Studios; CBS Studios International and CBS TV Distribution; CBS Interactive; CBS Films; and the Company’s digital streaming services, CBS All Access and CBSN.

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