Viacom's 3Q Profit Up Despite Weak Film Sales

By Jennifer Booton Features FOXBusiness

Nickelodeon, MTV and Paramount Studios parent Viacom (VIAB) on Thursday said it topped profit expectations in the fourth quarter despite a worse-than-projected drop in fourth-quarter sales.

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The New York-based broadcasting company posted net income of $643 million, or $1.24 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $576 million, or a dollar a share, topping average analyst estimates of $1.17 in a Thomson Reuters poll.

“Viacom is executing on its goals of continued investment in great content, ongoing operational excellence and ever-increasing returns to shareholders,” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement, adding that the company's "balance sheet remains strong, providing the flexibility to invest in our business.”

Shares of Viacom were up about 4% to $49.91 in recent trade.

Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 fell 17% $3.36 billion from $4.05 billion a year ago, narrowly missing the Street’s view of $3.41 billion.

Viacom attributed the decline in sales to a 39% decrease to $1.09 billion in filmed entertainment revenues, partially offset by stronger domestic advertising revenues, rate increases and higher digital sales.