Viacom Stock Drops 10 Percent in First 5 Minutes of Trading

Company’s Q1 revenue missed its mark, and no amount of tough talk from new chairman Philippe Dauman can fix that

More bad news for Viacom: The company’s stock was down 10 percent within five minutes of Tuesday’s market open — and that was only the beginning.

Viacom positions closed at $41.85 on Monday afternoon. By 9:35 a.m. ET Tuesday, VIAB was down four bucks per share to $37.85. Then it got worse.

At the time of this publishing, the stock was trading a few percentage points even lower. By 10:20 a.m. ET, it fell to $36.10 per share — the lowest VIAB has been bought and sold at since Fall 2010.

Viacom reported its first quarter 2016 financials early this morning, revealing lower revenues than Wall Street anticipated. Down domestic TV ratings and a thinner film slate didn’t help matters.

After its disappointing earnings release, the company held a customary investor call, on which new chairman Philippe Dauman blasted what he called “the naysayers, self-interested critics and publicity seekers.”

“Our outlook and the facts have been distorted and obscured by the naysayers, self-interested critics and publicity seekers,” Dauman said. “We will not be distracted or deterred as we build for the bright future ahead of us. As executive chairman and CEO, I will continue to work tirelessly to secure that future and will leave no stone unturned either tactically or strategically.”

“Sumner and I have a more than 30-year history side-by-side building his media empire. He and the board of Viacom, believing in my abilities and my character, have entrusted me with weighty responsibilities — none of which are inconsistent or incompatible,” he continued. “My singular objective is to protect and build value for all of Viacom shareholders, and in doing so, for all of the beneficiaries of Sumner’s trust, who not only include the descendants of his daughter, but also her brother.

“Finally, let me be absolutely clear: 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,” Dauman concluded. “No one should doubt my resolve, or the resolve of our entire management team in making that happen.”

Dauman, who is also the Viacom president and chief executive officer, was addressing market critics such as activist investor SpringOwl. He was also likely throwing shade at Sumner Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, who opposed Dauman’s appointment to chairman.