Viacom Ad Results Better Than Forecast

Viacom posted slightly better-than-expected advertising quarter results -- despite a weak TV advertising market. 

Domestic advertising was flat for its fiscal fourth quarter, versus the same period a year ago, at $936 million. This is the company's best results since its fiscal third-quarter 2014, says John Janedis, media analyst for Jefferies.

Viacom’s stock was sharply down in early morning trading.

Janedis estimates Viacom’s advertising could turn slightly positive for fiscal-year 2018. Total global advertising revenues were up 6% to $1.22 billion.

Viacom benefited from slightly stronger ratings growth, but lower overall subscribers. Viacom also reduced its advertising hourly load -- deemed one of the highest among all cable TV network groups.

On the downside, due to subscriber losses, there was less revenue from carriage fees on subscription video-on-demand platforms. Viacom posted a worse-than-expected 3% decline in domestic affiliate revenue to $936 million.



Viacom’s stock was down 7% on Thursday to $22.85.

Future periods should benefit from a better Charter Communications deal -- moving its five big networks to Charter’s basic-tier package, says Janedis. International affiliate revenue grew 12% to $200 million -- higher than many estimates.

Total film/TV entertainment revenues were up 2% to $789 million. Theatrical revenues sank 43% to $115 million, due to a comparison with a strong “Star Trek Beyond” in the prior-year quarter. Licensing revenues grew 30% to $423 million.

Total media network revenues gained 3% to $2.55 billion.

Total company-wide revenues rose 3% to $3.3 billion, while net earnings more than doubled to $695 million, primarily due to an asset sale. Adjusted operating income improved 7% to $578 million.

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