Why Viacom Earnings Are Not Enough

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Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) released its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had $1.18 in earnings per share (EPS) and $3.24 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $1.07 in EPS and revenue of $3.26 billion. In the same period of last year, Viacom said it had EPS of $1.17 and $3.26 billion in revenue.

During the most recent quarter, the Media Networks segment increased its momentum, with growth in television share, significant gains in digital consumption and live event attendance, sequential improvement in domestic affiliate revenue growth and savings from cost transformation initiatives.

Separately, Paramount Pictures, within the Filmed Entertainment segment, is delivering on its turnaround, with strong current quarter releases driving domestic theatrical revenues up 58%, continuing growth in television production and increasing profitability.

The revenue for the segments broke down like this:

  • Media Networks revenues decreased 2% year over year to $2.50 billion.
  • Filmed Entertainment revenues decreased 9% to $772 million.

Bob Bakish, president and CEO, commented:

Viacom produced another quarter of strong progress, with clear evidence that our turnaround is delivering results and that our evolution into a truly global, multiplatform, brand- and IP-driven entertainment company is well underway. Paramount Pictures is revitalized, with outstanding box office performance and growing television production revenues driving substantial gains in profitability. Our Media Networks brands posted significant gains in both linear flagship share and digital consumption, in addition to sequential improvements in domestic affiliate revenue growth.

Shares of Viacom closed Wednesday at $28.62, with a consensus analyst price target of $34.50 and a 52-week range of $22.13 to $35.55. Following the announcement, the stock was down less than 1% at $28.50 in early trading indications Thursday.