Cable Nets Drive Viacom's Strong Q3 Growth

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Viacom's third-quarter earnings rose on higher ad sales and profits at its cable networks.
Net earnings were $574 million, or 97 cents a share, up 37% from $420 million, or 71 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations were up 35%, the company said. Revenues rose 15% to $3.8 billion.
"The breadth of hit programming found across Viacom's media network portfolio continues to expand with top-rated shows and tentpole events on MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET and TV Land, as well as many of our international networks, all of which contributed to strong advertising growth and a robust advertising upfront performance," Philippe Dauman, president and CEO, said in a statement. "We are strengthening our global entertainment brands and expanding our reach through new international and digital distribution and bringing our audiences the content they want on new platforms."
The results topped analysts' estimates of revenues of 86 cents a share in earnings and $3.52 billion in revenue.
At Viacom's media networks group, which includes MTV, VH1 and Spike, operating income rose 27% to $1 billion. Revenues at the media networks unit rose 16% to $2.4 billion. Domestic ad sales were up 12%, while worldwide ad revenues grew 14%.
Operating income fell at Viacom's filmed entertainment division, and corporate expenses and equity based compensation rose.

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