Viacom Revenue Misses Mark as TV Ratings, Box Office, Home Entertainment Sales Drop

First quarter financials come out five days after Philippe Dauman adds “Chairman” to his business cards

Welcome to the Viacom chairman position, Philippe Dauman.

Viacom experienced a rough start to fiscal 2016 revenue-wise, as its TV ratings, box office sales, and home entertainment top line all decreased from first quarter 2015, netting a negative 6 percent. Due to declines in both the Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment segments, the company missed Wall Street’s collective sales forecast.

Early Tuesday morning, Viacom reported Q1 revenue of $3.15 billion, shy of the $3.26 billion estimate that Yahoo Finance had compiled from various media analysts. Earnings per share (EPS) expectations there was $1.18 — which is exactly what Viacom is reporting on an adjusted diluted basis. Without the benefits of those adjustments, EPS would have been $1.13.

With weakening TV ratings and in spite of price hikes, domestic small screen advertising revenue slipped 4 percent. On the film side, unfavorable Paramount Pictures comparisons with last year’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (in theaters) and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (at home) made things look particularly unhealthy.

Earlier this month, President and CEO Dauman (pictured aboveadded the company’s chairman title to his office door, as the aging and reportedly ailing Sumner Redstone stepped down to an emeritus position.

It’s a tough time to take on even more at Viacom, as even Dauman himself referred to the company’s 2015 as “challenging” in this morning’s earnings-accompanying statement.

Here’s that whole thing:
“As the media industry continues to evolve quickly, Viacom is generating sustainable opportunities using great new content, innovative technology, marketing and data applications, along with the benefits of our substantial footprint in key international growth markets,” Dauman said. “Our investments in new content have led to higher ratings at most of our networks, including VH1, Spike, BET, TV Land, CMT and Nick at Nite, as well as Nickelodeon, which recaptured its lead as the top network for kids 2 to 11. In addition, we saw significant sequential improvement in domestic advertising sales, due to the success of our new programming and our highly-desirable new advertising products. Paramount is off to a strong start in 2016, with a promising and diverse film lineup throughout the year, and our Paramount Television unit is also thriving.”

“2015 was a challenging year operationally as we redesigned ourselves and adapted to significant industry disruption. Our first fiscal quarter of 2016 reflected these challenges. However, our revitalized organization and our investments in content, technology and strategic innovation are now beginning to bear fruit. Although our industry continues to face headwinds, we expect our positive momentum to continue and build throughout the year.”

VIAB stock closed at $41.85 on Monday, down $1.39 per share, or a negative 3.21 percent.

Senior management will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the financial results. The U.S. stock markets open an hour later, or right around when the investor event will be winding down.