Viacom Beats Q1 Earnings, But Film Takes a Hit

Viacom Beats Q1 Earnings, But Film Takes a Hit

Company will acquire Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited for roughly $757 million

Viacom beat Wall Street's expectations as adjusted earnings per share climbed, but the company's film division slipped 12 percent.

Viacom also announced it would acquire Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited for roughly $757 million from Northern & Shell Media Group.

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Viacom's quarterly revenues were $3.17 billion for the quarter, just missing the $3.19 billion analysts had expected. But its adjusted earnings per share of $1.08 — a 13 percent increase — beat expectations of $1.05 per share. The analysts were polled by FactSet.

Revenues at media networks — the division that include's MTV and Comedy Central — were up to $2.38 billion in the first three months of the year, up 6 percent from the first quarter of 2013.

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But they were offset by the decline in the filmed entertainment division, which is led by Paramount Pictures. Filmed entertainment had revenues of $831 million, down 12 percent from the first quarter of 2013.

Theatrical revenues decreased 17 percent from the prior year, in part because strong domestic carryover revenues from 2013's “The Wolf of Wall Street” were more than offset by lower international theatrical revenues. Worldwide home entertainment revenues decreased 30 percent, primarily because of fewer current quarter releases and a decrease in carryover revenues.

The earnings report came as Viacom announced a definitive agreement with Northern & Shell Media Group for the acquisition of Channel 5 for £450 million, which is approximately $757 million.

Channel 5's diverse programming slate is viewed by more than 80 percent of the UK population each month.

“The acquisition of Channel 5 accelerates Viacom's strategy in the UK, one of the world's most important and valuable media markets,” said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman. “Channel 5's momentum is indisputable, with impactful programming, increasing popularity and a growing digital platform. Channel 5's management and employees have done an outstanding job building their brand and we are pleased to welcome them to our team.”