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Hot Properties Can’t Stem Viacom Losses

About 30 percent of Viacom’s revenues come from advertising, which also suffered.

Not even “Star Trek” could beam up Viacom.

 

The company reported a second quarter profit of $277 million, down from $406 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue declined 14 percent to $3.3 billion during the quarter, the company said.

The company’s Paramount Pictures division produced a pair of hits — "Star Trek” and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" – but it wasn’t enough to stem the tide – or make up for big screen flops like “Dance Flick” and “Imagine That.”

 

Overall, Viacom’s theatrical revenue dropped 27 percent.

 

DVDs were down nearly 30 percent, and sales for its MTV Games’ “Rock Band” failed to meet expectations. (Though there is one promising note for the company: "The Beatles: Rock Band" comes out in September and is expected to be, as with all new Beatles products, a blockbuster.)

About 30 percent of Viacom’s revenues come from advertising, which suffered especially in the cutbacks from the automobile industry.

The company’s chief executive, Philippe Dauman, said in a statement that the negative impact is "short-term" and that Viacom’s "aggressive" cost management will ensure a brighter future.

 

Wall Street appeared to agree. Shares of Viacom stock rose as high as 4.6 percent in early morning trading. Currently, the stock is trading at $25.60 per share – its highest price since last September.

Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of Viacom, added: "As the leading pure-play content company, Viacom has the right portfolio of assets and the right vision to manage through this challenging climate while we continue to position ourselves for future growth."

 

Redstone said during a conference call that he is pleased with the progress of the sale of part of National Amusements Inc., his privately-held movie theater chain.

 

"Whatever you may hear from the uninformed, there is substantial interest from a number of our bidders," Redstone said Tuesday. "We are extremely pleased with the progress we are making."