Viacom’s Media Networks up 6% in fiscal Q1


ViacomViacom’s fiscal Q1 of 2014, ended 12/31, saw revenues of $3.20 billion for the quarter, down 4%, reflecting higher Media Networks revenues, but offset by declines in Filmed Entertainment. That’s close to analysts’ estimates of $3.30 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Operating income rose 20% to $960 million, representing improved operating results across the company. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations increased 19% to $547 million, and adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were up 32% to $1.20 per diluted share.

Media Networks revenues rose 6% to $2.54 billion, driven by increases in affiliate fees and ad revenues. Affiliate revenues grew 10% on a domestic and worldwide basis, primarily due to rate increases. Domestic ad revenues increased 3% due to favorable ratings trends.

Worldwide ad revenues increased 4% to $1.33 billion in the quarter. Filmed Entertainment revenues declined 30% to $681 million. Theatrical revenues decreased 52% from the prior year, due to fewer titles released in the quarter and lower carryover revenues. Home entertainment revenues declined 37%.

Quarterly operating income increased 20% to $960 million in the quarter. Media Networks adjusted operating income increased 8%, reflecting higher revenues partially offset by increased programming investment and distribution costs. Filmed Entertainment generated an adjusted operating loss of $74 million, a 47% improvement over the prior year quarter, reflecting lower expenses associated with the reduced number of theatrical releases in the current quarter.

Said Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman: “Viacom continues to deliver on its proven strategy of creating the world’s best entertainment content, and engaging audiences in new and powerful ways. We look forward to continuing to deliver for shareholders.”

Added Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom: “Once again, Viacom’s results reflect our significant investments in content, our deep connection with audiences and our ongoing financial discipline. Our Media Networks continue to lead on television while also pioneering new, multi-screen experiences for users and expanded opportunities for advertising and distribution partners. With high profile films this quarter in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Nebraska and Wolf of Wall Street, Paramount is off to a strong start as the studio continues building its animation and television production capabilities alongside a promising slate for fiscal 2014. Viacom delivered $1.1 billion of capital directly to shareholders in the first quarter of 2014 through share repurchases and dividends, underscoring our continuing commitment to return significant value to investors.”

For the quarter, Viacom repurchased 10.3 million shares under its stock repurchase program, for an aggregate purchase price of $850 million. As of January 29, 2014, Viacom had $8.87 billion remaining in its $20 billion stock repurchase program. As of 12/31/13, Viacom had 440 million shares of common stock outstanding.

Viacom’s media networks include MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, TV Land, SPIKE, Tr3s, Paramount Channel and VIVA.