Viacom shares are down more than 1.8% in pre-market trading this morning after it told Wall Street that disappointing box office sales for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and a delay in closing “a significant SVOD agreement” will hurt its financial results for the quarter ending this month.
It expects to complete the SVOD deal soon. But the company says that “the recent and highly public governance controversy” from CEO Philippe Dauman’s battles with controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Vice Chair Shari Redstone, “negatively impacted the timing and its ability to achieve an optimal outcome with partners.”
Dauman is fighting moves by the Redstone camp to oust him from key positions in the Redstone media empire, and probably Viacom itself. He says the 93-year-old Chairman Emeritus is incapable of making his own decisions, and is being manipulated by Shari. They say Sumner Redstone is still calling the shots.
Viacom adds in a release that domestic ad sales for its cable networks likely will fall 4%, although it has “substantially completed” what it calls “a very successful annual advertising upfront sales process.”
The bottom line: The entertainment company expects to report adjusted diluted per share earnings of between $1.00 and $1.05 for its fiscal Q3. Analysts were expecting about $1.38.
Although Viacom calls the Turtles performance “disappointing,” it says it “has a strong slate in the months ahead and looks forward to improvement at Paramount.”
Viacom will report quarterly earnings on August 4.