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Trading TV: How to play CBS, Disney earnings

The broadcast trade: 4 plays on CBS earnings
The broadcast trade: 4 plays on CBS earnings

Though CBS topped earnings estimates Tuesday, sales trends create a dimmer outlook for the media giant, one "Fast Money" trader said.

CBS' net income of 88 cents per share beat analysts' expectations, but revenue disappointed as advertising sales fell 4 percent.

"I think the revenue miss weighs heavier than the earnings beat. I wouldn't jump in right here," said trader Karen Finerman.

Pedestrians walk by the CBS headquarters building in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

CBS shares rose about 2 percent in extended trading after the results. The stock "has been an underperformer" since last year and looks cheap compared to some peers, added trader Guy Adami.

Read MoreCBS revenue misses estimates due to lower advertising sales

One of those competitors, Walt Disney, sent concerns through the television sector when CEO Bob Iger warned on the health of the cable business earlier this year. When the company reports earnings Thursday, it will likely avoid similar disappointment, Adami said.

"I think you're going to see a surprise to the upside in Disney," he said.

Disney shares have climbed 22 percent this year. With "very positive sentiment" ahead of the results, investors should consider cutting their stake, contended trader Brian Kelly.


Dan Nathan

Dan is long AMAT Jan call spread, BA Oct put spread, CSCO Jan calls, INTC Dec put spread, M long Jan calls, XLF Dec put spread, IWM Dec put spread, XLI Dec put spread, TWTR

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is long BBRY, GLD, Bitcoin, Hong Kong Dollar, TLT, US Dollar; he is short Yuan, British Pound, Candaian Dollar, Euro, Yen, EEM, EWC, EWH, EWU, EWG, SPY

Karen Finerman

Karen is long BAC, C, FL, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, KORS, KORS call spreads, M, URI, she is short SPY, Her firm is long ANTM, AAPL, BAC, C, DIS, DIS puts, FL, GOOG, GOOGL, GPS, JPM, KORS, KORS call spreads, M, M calls, M call spreads, M puts, MA, SUNE, SUNE call spreads, URI, URI long puts, her firm is short IWM, SPY, MDY, USO, XRT, Karen Finerman is on the board of GrafTech International.

Guy Adami

Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS, INTC, Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.