Viacom Records U.S. Ad Declines, Paramount Pictures Revenues Soar

Viacom’s fiscal fourth-quarter results showed a steeper drop in U.S. advertising sales -- down 4.3% -- versus the preceding quarter’s 3.5% fall.

This was largely due to continued declines in both kids and non-kids programming viewing, which were down 21% and 7%, respectively, according to Todd Juenger, media analyst, Bernstein Research.

Viacom said revenues from new advanced advertising groups grew 32% in the period, partially offsetting the decrease in linear domestic ad revenues.

Better news came from improving U.S. affiliate fees -- up 2.5% from a 3.4% decline in the previous quarter, landing above analysts' expectations. New carriage fees from subscription video-on-demand services is credited with the contributing rise.

International advertising dropped 13% to $251 million; affiliate revenues were up 10% to $220 million. 

In total, Viacom’s media networks slipped 1% in revenue to $2.52 billion -- with $1.15 billion (down 6%) coming from advertising and $1.19 billion (up 4%) from affiliate sales.



Paramount Pictures showed strong results, growing 25% in revenue to $984 million -- largely due to growth in theatrical sales, with titles such as “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” “A Quiet Place” and “Book Club” doing well.

In particular, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” posted nearly $800 million in worldwide box office revenues. Viacom says this makes it the most successful entry in the franchise.

Overall, Viacom’s net income from continuing operations was down 43% to $399 million, with revenue 5% higher to $3.49 billion.

The latter was higher than many analysts' expectations. Early Friday morning trading of Viacom’s stock was initially up 2.3% -- then dropped around 2.5% to $31.05.

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