Movies Boost Viacom's Q4 Earnings


Viacom reported higher fourth-quarter net income thanks to the box office for the latest Transformer movie and solid performances at its cable networks.
Net earnings were $576 million, up from $189 million a year ago. A year ago, Viacom had losses from discontinued operations worth $299 million. Revenues rose 22% to $4.05 billion
"We enter a new fiscal year with a proven track record of managing our operations effectively in every economic environment," CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement. "Our financial position is as strong as it has ever been, which allows us to continue to invest in the growth of our businesses, including new branded television networks in the U.S. and internationally, and Paramount's recently launched animation label.
Operating income for Viacom's media networks unit, which included MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, was up 10% to $958 million. Revenues for the media networks unit rose 8% to $2.3 billion. Advertising revenues rose 7% both at the domestic networks and at the company's international operations. Worldwide affiliate revenues were up 11% to $833 million.
Filmed entertainment revenues rose 46% to $1.8 billion because of the performance of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Viacom also said it was expanding its stock repurchase program to $10 billion from $4 billion. Most media companies have been buying their own shares.