Viacom Q3 Net Rises 80%, Revenue Up 24%

Nov 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Viacom’s third-quarter earnings jumped because of gains from the sale of its Famous Music division and the strong performance of the movie “Transformers.”
The company’s cable networks—including MTV, Comedy Central and BET—reported a 2% increase in operating income to $796.8 million. Revenues increased by 9%, but they were partially offset by a 13% increase in expenses. Domestic ad revenues were up 5%.
“Our slate of original programming across our media networks is gaining traction with ratings showing steady improvement,” said Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. “We are also expanding our presence in the digital arena as we offer richer entertainment experiences, which are engaging more fans.”
Mr. Dauman said the MTV Networks division was working on a number of ways to increase viewer retention through commercial breaks, including “squeezes,” which combine program and advertising content on the same screen. Viacom networks including MTV and VH1 are among those with the highest rates of viewers switching channels during commercial breaks.
Including the sale of the music division, Viacom’s net earnings were up 80% to $641 million, or 96 cents a share, from $356.8 million, or 50 cents a share. Net earnings from continuing operations were $449.9 million, up 27%.
Revenue rose 24% to $3.3 billion.
“Viacom continues to deliver strong results for its shareholders by attracting loyal and valuable audiences around the world and connecting with those audiences on every available platform. We are very well positioned to grow our core businesses while cultivating and monetizing new opportunities,” said Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of Viacom.
Analysts said the gains were mostly bigger than expected.

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