Viacom's Domestic Ad Revenue Declines -- Update

By Austen Hufford Features Dow Jones Newswires

Viacom Inc. beat revenue and profit forecasts in its latest quarter, but saw a decline in domestic advertising revenue.

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In recent weeks, Viacom had entered talks to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., but eventually left the process, paving the way for Discovery Communications Inc. to strike a $11.9 billion deal for the cable TV programmer.

In its third quarter, domestic advertising revenues declined 2% to $955 million from a year earlier, as higher pricing was offset by a lower number of views. International advertising grew 14% to $280 million as the company bought one of Argentina's main free-to-air channels for $345 million last year.

In its media networks unit, revenue grew 2% to $2.56 billion, with affiliate revenue growing 4% and total advertising revenue increasing 2%. In June, the company's MTV channel saw year-over-year ratings growth for the first time since 2011.

Revenue at its filmed entertainment unit rose 36% to $847 million, driven by the latest "Transformers" movie.

The media giant has been working to reduce its hefty debt load. At the end of June, total debt outstanding was $11.17 billion, compared with $11.91 billion at the end of last September.

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In all for the quarter, Viacom's profit rose to $683 million, or $1.70 a share, compared with $432 million, or $1.09 a share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding certain items, Viacom earned $1.17 a share.

Revenue grew 8.3% to $3.36 billion.

Viacom shares rose 0.3% to $41.30 in after-hours trading.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

Viacom Inc. beat revenue and profit forecasts in its latest quarter, but saw a decline in domestic advertising revenue.

In recent weeks, Viacom had entered talks to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., but eventually left the process, paving the way for Discovery Communications Inc. to strike a $11.9 billion deal for the cable TV programmer.

In its third quarter, domestic advertising revenues declined 2% to $955 million from a year earlier, as higher pricing was offset by a lower number of views. International advertising grew 14% to $280 million as the company bought one of Argentina's main free-to-air channels for $345 million last year.

In its media networks unit, revenue grew 2% to $2.56 billion, with affiliate revenue growing 4% and total advertising revenue increasing 2%. In June, the company's MTV channel saw year-over-year ratings growth for the first time since 2011.

Revenue at its filmed entertainment unit rose 36% to $847 million, driven by the latest "Transformers" movie.

The media giant has been working to reduce its hefty debt load. At the end of June, total debt outstanding was $11.17 billion, compared with $11.91 billion at the end of last September.

In all for the quarter, Viacom's profit rose to $683 million, or $1.70 a share, compared with $432 million, or $1.09 a share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding certain items, Viacom earned $1.17 a share.

Revenue grew 8.3% to $3.36 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $3.29 billion in revenue and adjusted earnings per share of $1.05.

Viacom shares rose 0.3% to $41.30 in after-hours trading.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 03, 2017 17:21 ET (21:21 GMT)