Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) reported a 22% drop in earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2019 due to lower revenue as well as higher costs and expenses. However, the results exceeded analysts’ expectations.
Net income from continuing operations fell by 22% to $303 million or $0.75 per share. Adjusted earnings decreased by 20% to $0.79 per share.
Revenues declined by 1% to $3.43 billion. The company grew domestic advertising revenue by 6% for the quarter and achieved domestic affiliate revenue growth of 1%.
Revenues in Filmed Entertainment fell by 14% as a lower theatrical release, declines in home entertainment and ancillary offset growth in licensing. During the quarter, Crawl and Dora and the Lost City of Gold performed well at the box office.
Paramount’s fiscal 2020 film slate is at 17 films versus 11 in the prior year. Looking forward, highly anticipated releases include A Quiet Place Part II, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run and Top Gun: Maverick.
Viacom Media Networks faced a 4% growth in revenues as an increase in advertising and higher affiliate offset declines in consumer products, recreation & live events. The continued acceleration in Advanced Marketing Solutions and advancement in Viacom’s distribution strategy drove domestic advertising and affiliate revenue higher.
Pluto TV continued to scale with monthly active users that rose to about 20 million domestically, up nearly 70% this calendar year. The company launched 43 new channels, including 24 Viacom-branded channels in the quarter. Pluto Latino now has 22 channels with over 4,000 hours of Spanish and Portuguese programming.