In Depth

Viacom Q1 Earnings Drop 34%

Viacom’s first-quarter net earnings fell 34% amid the recession and the soft advertising market.

Earnings were $177 million, or 28 cents per share. Revenues fell 7% to $2.9 billion compared with the year-ago quarter.

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"The global economy continues to present significant challenges for all businesses, including those in the entertainment industry," Viacom executive chairman and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone said in a statement. "Viacom is successfully navigating these uncertain waters by taking full advantage of our financial strength to invest in great content and to build on our enduring global brands."

At its media networks group, which includes cable networks MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, operating income was down 9% to $629 million.

Revenues were down 8% to $1.87 billion as domestic ad sales fell 9% and worldwide ad sales dropped 11%.

Programming expenses were up 3%, the company said.