Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) reported a 42% jump in earnings for the second quarter of 2019 helped by lower costs and expenses. The bottom line exceeded analysts’ expectations, while the top line missed consensus estimates. The top line was hurt by lower revenue from Filmed Entertainment and a decline in Media Networks revenue.
Net income from continuing operations jumped by 42% to $363 million and earnings climbed by 41% to $0.90 per share. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations inched up 3% to $0.95 per share.
Net revenue decreased by 6% to $2.96 billion. The results were hurt by the timing of TV production availabilities and comparisons to last year’s direct-to-SVOD release of certain films. The results were also impacted by foreign exchange, macroeconomic headwinds in the U.K. and the timing of SVOD.
Paramount Pictures delivered its ninth straight quarter of improved year-over-year adjusted operating income, largely driven by gains at the global box office and monetization of library IP. Total revenue declined 1%, as strong growth in theatrical and ancillary revenues was offset by lower licensing revenues.
Paramount continued its global box office momentum in the fiscal second quarter, driven by Bumblebee and What Men Want. Pet Sematary, released in the fiscal third quarter and adapted from Stephen King’s horror novel, performed well in theaters.
Viacom Media Networks achieved meaningful distribution on new and existing platforms while growing Advanced Marketing Solutions and viewership share across flagship networks. Domestic advertising revenue growth rate improved for the second quarter, driven by accelerating growth in Advanced Marketing Solutions (AMS).
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MTV and Comedy Central each delivered its eighth consecutive quarter of share growth of up 5% and 12% year-over-year, respectively. Paramount Network earned its second consecutive quarter of share growth of up 3%.
Viacom advanced its distribution across traditional and virtual MVPDs, mobile and direct-to-consumer; expanded product line with Pluto TV acquisition. At the end of April, monthly active users for Pluto TV grew to about 16 million, up 31% since December 2018. Viacom launched 14 library channels on Pluto TV, broadening the content offering to kids, women and African Americans.
Viacom’s peer Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter of 2019. Studio Entertainment saw a 15% drop in revenue hurt by lower theatrical and home entertainment distribution results, as the current quarter had no releases that could match the success of Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok during the prior-year quarter.
Shares of Viacom Class B common stock ended Thursday’s regular session up 0.35% at $28.50 on the Nasdaq. Following the earnings release, the stock inched up over 3% in the premarket session.
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