Viacom Beat June Quarter Earnings Estimates Helped By SVOD Sales


Viacom seems to be right in the middle of major media companies reporting Q2 earnings: Its just-released numbers — while beating Wall Street expectations — are not as encouraging as Time Warner and AMC Networks’, but also not as worrisome as Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive’s.

Shares are up about 3% in postmarket trading.

For the June quarter — Viacom’s fiscal Q3 — the company generated net income of $680 million, up 58% vs the period last year if you include $285 million from the sale of its interest in Epix to MGM. Without one-time items, net was up 12% to $471 million.

Revenues at $3.36 billion, were up 8.3%. Analysts expected the top line to hit $3.29 billion.

Adjusted earnings at $1.17 a share beat the consensus estimate for $1.05.

Domestic ad sales, a closely watched number, were down 2%, in line with the company’s forecast in May for a low-single-digit decline — and an improvement from the 4% drop in the same quarter last year.

“Every day we are working hard to reinvent Viacom and revitalize its brands for the future, and the early, tangible results are encouraging,” CEO Bob Bakish said. “There remains much work to be done, but we will continue to build on this progress for our shareholders, partners and fans.”

Media Networks revenues were up 2% to $2.56 billion. The drop in ad sales was offset by a 4% increase in affiliate revenues, including a 4% rise in the U.S. The increase was “principally” due to “higher revenues from SVOD and other OTT agreements” along with rate increases, though the company saw an unspecified drop in subscriptions.

Operating profits for the networks were “substantially flat” at $870 million, the company said.

The Paramount-led Filmed Entertainment operation saw a 36% increase in revenues to $847 million. It also returned to profit, albeit a modest one at $9 million, from a $26 million loss last year.

Theatrical revenues were up 189% in a quarter that included Transformers: The Last Knight. Licensing revenues were up 1% to $300 million, while home entertainment was up 14% to$218 million.

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