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Why Viacom Shares Popped Today

By Evan Niu, CFA - Feb 8, 2018 at 2:38PM

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The media company expects distributor relationships to improve.

What happened

Share of Viacom (VIAB) have popped today, up by 9% as of 3:15 p.m. EST, after the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings results this morning. The company has made progress improving relationships with distributors.

So what

Revenue in the fiscal first quarter fell 8% to $3.07 billion, a little shy of the $3.14 billion in sales that analysts were expecting. However, adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.03, slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.95 per share in adjusted profit. Non-GAAP operating income fell modestly to $717 million.

Woman watching TV eating popcorn

Image source: Getty Images.

CEO Bob Bakish has been emphasizing distributor relationships since becoming CEO in 2016, and is making progress on that front.

Now what

"Viacom has also made considerable progress in its push to accelerate consumption and monetization on next-generation platforms, achieving substantial growth in worldwide digital advertising revenues, expanding distribution on fast-growing virtual MVPD and mobile services, and ramping up resources and talent at Viacom Digital Studios," Bakish said in a statement. "Additionally, since the end of the quarter, we continued to expand our digital capabilities with the acquisition of influence marketer WHOSAY and the world's premier online video event, VidCon."

The company also boosted its forecast for 2018 affiliate sales. U.S. affiliate sales are now expected to fall by low-to-mid single-digit percentages, slightly better than Viacom's previous guidance of declining mid-single-digit percentages. Affiliate revenue fell 4% to $1.09 billion in the first quarter.

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