Viacom Stock Actually Didn’t Have a Terrible Day Today

Philippe Dauman-led company’s shares had dropped more than 30 percent over prior four days of trading

Good news, Viacom shareholders: Your stock didn’t plummet today!

As a matter of fact, it didn’t even drop, fall, sink, slip or dip — rather, VIAB actually finished up for the day. You read that right.

Prior to Thursday, Viacom shares had closed down after each of the previous four trading days. All told, the company’s stock price dived 30.8 percent during those tumultuous 96 hours.

Thursday’s sigh of relief may have only been to the tune of a positive 2.8 percent, but at least the bleeding has stopped — for now.

We can’t fairly call this past week a roller coaster for Viacom, because — like the stock price — it’s pretty much been exclusively negative.

Tuesday wrought the worst of it financially, as share prices fell off a cliff, closing down 21 percent from Monday’s 4 p.m. ET pause. The first 10 percent of that big decline happened within the U.S. trading day’s opening five minutes.

That nosedive followed a weak quarterly earnings release issued earlier that morning. Plus, it probably didn’t help that new Chairman (and continuing President/CEO) Philippe Dauman lashed out at his critics during a breakfast-time investor event immediately after.

But who can blame Dauman for being a bit cranky? Last Friday morning, he added that chairman title to his business card, but some outspoken members of the market didn’t love the controversial appointment.

Even within the company, the election new chairman emeritus Sumner Redstone’s replacement wasn’t universally well-received. That said, the matter’s biggest (and possibly only) opponent was Sumner Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, who has some skin in the game through a family trust that owns Viacom and CBS parent company National Amusements. (On the CBS side, Shari Redstone publicly supported Les Moonves inheriting her father’s chairman role.)

But, today is a new day, and stock is in the black. Before Viacom’s board of directors plans a party over the modest rebound, however, members must realize how far prices still have to go.

In July 2014, VIAB was up over $88 — the stock’s best point ever. And right now, shares are still at their lowest price since a slip in mid-Summer 2010. That’s all about to change, Dauman believes, through a little hard work, tenacity and corporate elbow grease.

“I could not be more focused on getting Viacom stock price back to the much-higher level enjoyed under my leadership just a short time ago,” he vowed to media analysts this week. “No one should doubt my resolve, or the resolve of our entire management team in making that happen.”

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