Viacom Q4 Earnings Beat Expectations, Paramount Posts Full-Year Profit for First Time Since 2015

Company will re-merge with CBS in a few weeks

viacom earnings
Viacom's logo on the iconography of a dollar bill

Viacom ended its fiscal 2019 by keeping Paramount on pace to deliver the division’s first full-year profit since 2015. For fiscal Q4 alone, the publicly traded corporation topped media analysts’ expectations at both its top and bottom lines.

Wall Street had forecast fourth-quarter 2019 earnings per share of 75 cents on $3.41 billion in revenue, according to a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. Viacom actually reported 79 cents of adjusted diluted earnings per share on $3.433 billion in revenue.

Viacom’s revenue, income and earnings all actually declined from the prior quarter — and the prior year. Its Paramount division ultimately contributed more, obviously, but theatrical revenue fell vs. the comparable three-month period of 2018 featuring “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”

Television performed much better, including 6% growth in domestic advertising revenue.

“Our strong performance in the fourth quarter capped off a pivotal year for Viacom and reflects the successful execution of our strategic priorities to evolve the company for the future,” company President and CEO Bob Bakish said in prepared remarks accompanying his company’s financial results. “We achieved several important milestones. First, we grew domestic ad sales for the full year, driven by the continued acceleration of Advanced Marketing Solutions. We also grew full year domestic affiliate revenue, driven by the extended reach of Viacom’s distribution across more viewing platforms.”

“And, for the first time in four years, we returned Paramount to full year profitability – a testament to the strength of our strategy and content slate,” he continued. “As we look to the future of a combined ViacomCBS, we’re thrilled with the momentum we have to create one of the world’s preeminent content companies.”

Viacom stock (VIAB) closed Wednesday at $22.05 per share. The stock markets reopen for their regular trading day at 9:30 a.m. ET. Shares are currently up in premarket trading.

Bakish and other Viacom executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the fiscal quarter and full year in greater detail.

Viacom and CBS are on track to re-merge within a couple of weeks. CBS reported its Q3 earnings on Tuesday — read all about those here.