Viacom Narrowly Beats Fiscal Q1 Earnings Forecasts With Film Cost Cuts

It wasn’t a quarter for the record books, but could have been worse. Viacom says this morning that net income improved 16.3% to $557M in the last three months of 2013 on revenues of $3.2B, -3.5%. The top line missed analyst expectations for $3.3B. Earnings from continuing operations, at $1.20 a share, were a penny ahead of forecasts. At the main Media Networks business, revenues increased 6.1% to $2.5B and operating income was up 8.2% to $1.1B. Most of the growth came from the 10% jump in fees paid by pay TV distributors, the result of rate increases. Viacom 3Ad sales were up 3% in the U.S. and 4% worldwide to $1.3B. But much of that was offset by Filmed Entertainment. Revenues fell 30.2% to $681M with an operating loss of $74M, a 47% improvement from the $139M loss in the period last year. Paramount had fewer releases contributing to a 52% drop in theatrical revenues, and 37% decline in home entertainment. But that also lowered the division’s costs. CEO Philippe Dauman says that the company benefited from investments in content and “our ongoing financial discipline.” He adds that with recent releases including Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Nebraska, and Wolf Of Wall Street “Paramount is off to a strong start as the studio continues building its animation and television production capabilities alongside a promising slate for fiscal 2014.”

Here’s how the results look:

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Viacom 2

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