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CBS Purchase Widens Westinghouse Loss

May 03, 1996|From Times Wire Services

Westinghouse Electric said its first-quarter loss from continuing operations widened because of costs from its $5.4-billion acquisition of CBS in November and steeper losses in its power systems businesses.

The Pittsburgh-based company's transformation into the largest U.S. broadcasting company resulted in a gain of $1.16 billion from the sale of its defense electronics and office furniture units. The gain more than offset $857 million in charges, helping Westinghouse post its highest quarterly net income since 1991.

"Westinghouse-CBS is off to a good start, but it's going to take more than one or two quarters," said Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Greg Drahuschak.

Westinghouse's loss from continuing operations widened to $116 million, or 26 cents a share, from $9 million, or 5 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Results were hurt by about $90 million in interest and amortization costs related to the CBS purchase.

The per-share loss from continuing operations exceeded the average loss estimate of 11 cents made by a number of Wall Street analysts.

The company said interest costs will fall significantly in coming quarters because it was able to pay down $3.5 billion of debt in the first quarter following the divestitures.

At a Glance:

Spelling Entertainment reported a first-quarter net loss of $3.7 million, or 4 cents a share, contrasted with net income of $7.3 million, or 8 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Imax said its first-quarter earnings rose ninefold because of higher attendance at theaters that lease its big-screen projection systems, to $2.9 million, or 19 cents a share, from $207,000 or 1 cent, a year ago.

Cineplex Odeon posted a first-quarter net loss of $7.2 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a $15.1-million loss, or 13 cents, for the year-ago period.

Playboy Enterprises reported third-quarter profit of $676,000, or 3 cents a share, contrasted with a loss of $347,000, or 2 cents, in the year-ago period.

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