Entertainment production powerhouse Viacom
Advertising contracts flowed out of the big TV networks and into cable stations, as a strike-softened prime-time schedule on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox drove advertisers into the open arms of Viacom and other cable heavies. Reruns are always a staple on Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central, with or without a strike. And so Viacom gained from the pain felt by sister company CBS
The second earnings engine at work was Paramount Pictures, where DVD sales for Transformers and DreamWorks Animation
And the third hit was a video game. The Electronic Arts
Rock Band certainly will get sequels, and they will do very well. Transformers is another possible clone generator, and predictable growth is certainly in Viacom's cards with those fresh franchises in hand.
Viacom's stock is notoriously sedentary with negative tendencies and has yet to reach much above the price it was trading at following its split from CBS. But it's still not cheaply priced relative to the competition and current growth expectations, so I'd blame the lackluster returns on high expectations out of the gate. It's a stock worth watching, but it's not singing, "Buy me now!"
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund is merely a mediocre rocker. He holds no positions in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure can nail both Iron Maiden and Dragonforce in its sleep.