Viacom Shares Fall More Than 7%, Leading Broader Media Selloff

By Trey Williams Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Viacom Inc. shares were down more than 7% in afternoon trade on Wednesday, leading the broader media sector in an afternoon sell off. Following Viacom, shares of AMC Networks Inc. were down nearly 6% and 20th Century Fox Inc. shares fell more than 5%. Shares of Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp. were down more than 2%. There was no clear reason for the sell off, but Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Jayant attributed it to rearing cord-cutting fears, as the industry shifts focus to streaming. Earlier on Wednesday Hulu, which is jointly owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and Time Warner, launched the beta version of its live TV service and Akamai Media reported poor revenue outlook due to continued weakness in its media business. Viacom will report second-quarter earnings on Thursday and is expected to post lower year-over-year profit at 59 cents per share with slightly improved revenue of $3.03 billion, according to FactSet. Shares of Viacom have gained more than 12% in the year to date, while declining nearly 5% in the last 12 months. By comparison, the S&P 500 index has gained nearly 7% in the year and 16% during the prior 12-month period.

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