Quarterly profit plunged 60 percent at the media giant. But as Fred Katayama reports, its earnings results handily beat analysts' forecasts amid its drive to turn itself around.
Not exactly a rough financial landing for Viacom. Quarterly profit plunged 60 percent, hurt by falling ad sales and higher programming costs. But that profit along with rising revenue handily beat analysts' estimates. Boosting revenue at the media giant: the success of the action thriller staring Vin Diesel, "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage." That flick grossed nearly $350 million. Viacom's film business was the outperformer. Its revenue surged 37 percent. Revenue from its media networks which include Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, inched up 1 percent. Viacom is trying to turn itself around after struggling with declining U.S. ad sales due to weak ratings as viewers flock to streaming sites like Netflix. The company is now focusing on six brands with emphasis on Paramount. That studio has been underperforming for years. Cowen analyst Doug Creutz said, "Ultimately, even with a better strategy and focus on a smaller core set of networks, Viacom we think has a significant task ahead fixing its network problems." Viacom shares shedding some of their nearly 12 percent gain this year at the market open.