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Viacom Inc. (VIAB) posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday but flat revenue growth sent shares in the MTV and Paramount owner lower in pre-market trading.
Viacom said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December, the company’s fiscal first quarter, came in at $1.12 per share, up 8.7% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street forecast of $1.03 per share. Group revenues, the company said, were largely flat from last year at $3.09 billion and narrowly missed the consensus estimate of $3.1 billion.
“Through strong execution of our strategic priorities, we delivered another quarter of solid financial and operational results,” said CEO Bob Bakish. “Beyond the growth at our flagship networks and the resurgence of Paramount Pictures, we took a major step forward in our evolution with an agreement to acquire Pluto TV.”
“This service will create a scaled direct-to-consumer offering for Viacom, and expand our opportunities in next-generation distribution and advanced advertising,” he added. “With this momentum, we are progressing toward a return to topline growth in 2019 as Viacom continues to evolve for the future.”
Viacom shares were marked 1.5% lower in pre-market trading following the earnings release, indicating an opening bell price of $29.01 each.
Viacom said advertizing revenues fell 6% on a reported basis to $1.23 billion, with the international component of that total falling 13% to $323 million. Affiliate revenues, Viacom said, rose 3% to $1.169 billion.
Film and entertainment revenues rose 14% to $621 million, Viacom said, “driven by worldwide theatrical gains, continued momentum at Paramount Television and international theme park revenues.”
“Bumblebee reinvigorated the Transformers franchise,” Viacom said of the popular film series’ recent re-boot. “The film has grossed over $450 million at the global box office to date, and is solidly profitable.”
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