Viacom Reports Mixed Results as Advertising Dips, Paramount Pictures Gains

Viacom (VIA, VIAB) reported downbeat revenue for the fiscal third quarter as advertising revenue decreased, but earnings came in better than expected, and the entertainment company cheered growing profitability in its Paramount Pictures division.

Revenue fell 4% to $3.24 billion, missing the consensus on Capital IQ for $3.27 billion. Adjusted diluted earnings rose by a penny to $1.18 a share, ahead of analysts’ views for $1.07 a share.

Media Networks revenues decreased 2% as worldwide advertising revenues fell 4% to $1.19 billion, said Viacom, which has properties including MTV, BET and Comedy Central. Domestic advertising revenues contracted by 3%.

Paramount Pictures was profitable for a second consecutive quarter, but filmed entertainment revenue fell 9% as higher domestic revenues was offset by a slide internationally. “A Quiet Place” and “Book Club” drove domestic theatrical sales, while international revenues decreased 58%.

“Paramount Pictures is revitalized, with outstanding box office performance and growing television production revenues driving substantial gains in profitability,” Viacom’s chief executive officer, Bob Bakish, said in a statement.

Paramount’s slate of worldwide theatrical releases will be nearly doubled in fiscal 2019 compared to the previous year, the company said.