Earnings: Viacom Q2 Beats, But Worldwide Ad Growth Weak; Domestic Ad Revs Up Just 1 Percent

imageViacom (NYSE: VIA), parent of MTV and Rock Band, reported Q2 revenue of $3.85 billion, a 21 percent increase from $3.18 billion in the year-ago quarter. The top line appears well ahead of Wall St. estimates of $3.55 billion. Operating income grew 13 percent to $792 million from $702 million a year ago. EPS of $.64 per share was again well ahead of analyst estimates of $.58-$.59 per share. The growth drivers: The Media Networks business was up 11 percent to $2.13 billion, while the filmed entertainment unit soared, growing 35 percent to $1.77 billion. Ancillary revenues, primarily driven by Rock Band, were up 62 percent to $307 million. The clear weak spots: Worldwide ad revenue was up just 2 percent, and domestic up just 1 percent. Growth was expected to be in the low single digits. While the economy and its effect on cable network advertising has been a major concern, the comment from CEO Philippe Dauman is that the company was able to overcome economic headwinds, in part due to the multiple revenue streams. By that he was referring to smash hits film hits like Kung Fu Panda and the latest Indiana Jones, not to mention Rock Band. We’ll look for more color on the economy on the call, and a host of issues on the call. For guidance, the company is calling for EPS growth in the low double digits.

Release | Webcast (4:30 PM)