When corporate earnings reports come in clusters there is often a macro tone about industry that echoes in the details like a PR reps list of talking points. In Viacom’s third quarter earnings there were references to “financial discipline” and “renewed optimism.” There were hints of a cautious recovery in advertising revenue. It was the same tone taken by other media companies. On point and consistent, the message was clear: careful cost management is carrying the load while the broader market is stabilizing.
Overall, Viacom reported consolidated revenues of $3.3 billion in the third quarter, down 3% year over year. Operating income climbed 14% to $784m. Net Adjusted EPS was 69 cents a share. Analysts had expected 57 cents on comparable revenue (Thomson Reuters).
Within segments, The Media Networks group revenue was flat at $2.12b. Filmed Entertainment was off 6% due to weak home sales (Theatrical revenue was up 16% but worldwide home entertainment sales were off 21%).
Closely watched advertising revenues were down year over year but sequentially trending positive. In the third quarter domestic ad revenues were down 4%, a two-percentage point improvement over the second quarter.
During the earnings call, CEO Philippe Dauman took a cautious but positive tone in characterizing things. He “expect[s] the road to recovery will be a bumpy one” but he also said he “believe[s] the economy particularly in the US now is moving in the right direction.”
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