Viacom announced lower earnings in its quarterly report this morning, with much of the damage being done by its Paramount Pictures film unit. Even so, the company’s earnings exceeded Wall Street expectations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The entertainment conglomerate, led by CEO Philippe Dauman, reported adjusted earnings of $303 million,” THR reports. “That compared with $467 million in the year-ago period. On a non-adjusted basis, the company had in the year-ago period recorded a loss of $53 million when including a $785 million pre-tax charge for a slew of layoffs and reorganization moves in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings per share fell to 76 cents from $1.16 in the year-ago period.”
“The media company’s fiscal-second-quarter earnings were marred by more missteps from the Melrose Avenue movie studio,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Paramount released two films that underwhelmed audiences: ‘Zoolander 2,’ with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, and ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ with Tina Fey.”
The Times notes that Paramount “posted an adjusted $136 million operating loss for the January-March quarter. The movie ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ performed fine, and worldwide theatrical revenue increased 6% compared to the year earlier period, helped by ticket sales for the Oscar-nominated film ‘The Big Short,’ and Will Ferrell’s ‘Daddy’s Home,’ which were released toward the end of last year.”
But studio revenue dipped 1% vs. a year ago to $655 million, the Times notes.
THR adds: “At Viacom’s media networks unit, U.S. advertising revenue fell again at Viacom’s media networks unit as the company contiues to face ratings challenges.
“Overall, its operating profit fell 11 percent to $805 million amid a 3 percent revenue decline,” THR notes. “U.S. advertising revenue decreased 5 percent, compared to most analysts’ expectation for a 3 percent-4 percent drop, ‘as pricing increases were more than offset by softer ratings at some of our networks,’ the company said.”