Viacom Earnings Drop in Q3

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Viacom reported lower third-quarter profits as revenue dropped sharply.

Net earnings fell 7% to $534 million from $574 million, a year ago. Earning per diluted share rose to $1.01, versus. 97 cents a year ago. Revenues were down 14% to $3.24 billion.
"Despite challenging year-on-year comparisons with last year's strong third quarter, Viacom remains committed to pursuing its long-term strategy of international expansion, continued programming investment and ongoing focus on operational discipline," Philippe Dauman, president and CEO, said in a statement. "Looking forward, we will continue to operate efficiently to maintain our competitive and creative edge, and over time, return significant value to shareholders."

Operating income at Viacom's Media Networks group, which includes MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, was down 10% to $934 million. Revenues were down 5% to $2.5 billion.

Domestic advertising revenues decreased 7%. The company said revenues were impacted by the timing of event driven programming compared to the prior year's quarter. Worldwide advertising revenues were down 9%. Affiliate revenues were down 1%, compared to a year ago when the company registered digital streaming payments. Worldwide affiliate fees were up 1%.

The company has also been struggling with lower ratings at some of its networks, including Nickelodeon and MTV.