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Viacom Reports Q3 Fiscal 2010 Results, Announces Plans to Sell Harmonix

All numbers in millions of U.S. dollars

Consolidated financial results for three months ended 09/30/10

  • Revenues – $3,330 [compared to $3,172 three months ended 09/30/09]
  • Operating income – $837 [compared to $801 three months ended 09/30/09]
  • Net earnings – $488 [compared to $454 three months ended 09/30/09]

Media Networks division financial results for three months ended 09/30/10

Viacom operates their video game business under the Media Networks division:

  • Revenues – $2,128  [compared to $1,979 three months ended 09/30/09]
  • Operating income – $873 [compared to $803 three months ended 09/30/09]

Viacom also announced that it plans to sell Harmonix, which developed the Rock Band music video game franchise. Accordingly, the Company reclassified the business as a discontinued operation and has recast its results from previous periods to reflect this change.

Full press release and link to financial statements after the break.

– Adjusted Operating Income Up in the September Quarter with Solid Gains in Media Networks Driven by 8% Growth in Domestic Ad Sales and Double-Digit Growth in Affiliate Revenues
– Adjusted Net Earnings from Continuing Operations and Adjusted Diluted EPS from Continuing Operations Grew 7% and 6% Respectively in the Quarter
– Fiscal 2010 Adjusted Net Earnings from Continuing Operations and Adjusted Diluted EPS from Continuing Operations Both Rose 20%
– Company Plans to Sell Harmonix; Accordingly, Business Reclassified as Discontinued Operation

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —

Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) today reported higher operating income and net earnings from continuing operations for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, reflecting strong gains in advertising, affiliate and television license fees.

Revenues in the quarter ended September 30, 2010 rose 5% to $3.33 billion reflecting growth in Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment. Adjusted operating income of $837 million was up 4% over the prior year’s adjusted results, with growth in Media Networks driven by an 8% rise in domestic advertising revenues and 10% growth in worldwide affiliate fees, partially offset by lower profits in the Filmed Entertainment segment due to the timing and mix of theatrical releases. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom grew 7% to $461 million and adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations were $0.75, a 6% increase over the prior year’s adjusted results of $0.71 per share.

As previously announced in mid-2009, Viacom changed its fiscal year end to September 30 commencing with the fiscal year 2010. As a result, Viacom’s fiscal year 2010 comprises the nine-month period of January 1, 2010 through September 30, 2010.

Viacom also announced that it plans to sell Harmonix, which developed the Rock Band music video game franchise. Accordingly, the Company reclassified the business as a discontinued operation and has recast its results from previous periods to reflect this change.

Revenues for fiscal 2010 increased 1% to $9.34 billion as growth in affiliate and advertising revenues was partially offset by a decline in the Filmed Entertainment segment due primarily to fewer home entertainment releases. Adjusted operating income was up 14% to $2.21 billion for the year, driven by solid growth in Media Networks and a $94 million improvement in Filmed Entertainment versus the prior year. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom grew 20% to $1.15 billion and adjusted diluted earnings per share were $1.88, up 20% over the prior year’s adjusted results of $1.57 per share.

Sumner M. Redstone, Executive Chairman of Viacom, said, “Viacom once again has delivered strong results that reflect the enduring value of our brands, our focused strategy and our disciplined management team. We continue to benefit from the improving economy and look forward to even brighter days ahead.”

Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, said, “We are very pleased with the financial and operational results we delivered in fiscal 2010, which were the direct result of our continuing creative success. With a strong balance sheet and increasing free cash flow, we are delivering on our commitment to return capital to our shareholders with the institution of a quarterly cash dividend in the second quarter followed by the resumption of our stock repurchase program in October.

“Investing in our content and our brands has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of Viacom’s strategy. We never wavered from it even as we managed through the global recession. As a result, many of our cable networks today are achieving new ratings highs and producing hit shows that feed the cultural dialogue in the U.S. and abroad. This creative success coupled with the improving economy has fueled our advertising revenues, which were up 8% in the U.S. this quarter, our third consecutive quarter of sequential improvement.

“Our motion picture business continues on its trajectory of controlling overhead expenses as it pursues a film strategy focused on franchises and brands. The studio is off to a great start in fiscal 2011 with the box office success of Jackass 3D and Paranormal Activity 2.”

Quarterly revenues of $3.33 billion increased 5% from $3.17 billion in the prior year. Media Networks generated $2.13 billion in revenues, an 8% improvement from the prior year. This result includes significant growth in advertising revenues, which were up 7% on a worldwide basis to $1.17 billion. Domestic ad revenues continued to benefit from a strong scatter market, rising 8% in the quarter. Worldwide affiliate revenues grew 10% to $799 million. Ancillary revenues increased 1% in the quarter to $160 million. Filmed Entertainment revenues grew 1% in the quarter to $1.23 billion driven primarily by an 18% increase in television license fees to $372 million as well as a 3% improvement in theatrical revenues to $372 million. Worldwide home entertainment revenues of $406 million represent a 13% decline over the prior year’s result, primarily due to fewer releases.

Fiscal 2010 revenues of $9.34 billion were up 1% from the $9.24 billion generated in the comparable nine-month period in 2009. Media Networks revenues grew 7% to $6.08 billion driven primarily by higher affiliate and advertising revenues. Worldwide advertising revenues increased 5% to $3.25 billion, reflecting strengthening trends in the global advertising market. The Company delivered 10% growth in its worldwide affiliate revenues to $2.37 billion for fiscal 2010. Worldwide ancillary revenues increased 11% to $454 million, principally reflecting growth in the Company’s online content licensing fees. Filmed Entertainment revenues declined 9% to $3.36 billion for the fiscal year primarily due to fewer home entertainment releases. Home entertainment revenues were down 30% to $951 million, reflecting five releases in fiscal 2010 versus 12 in the prior year’s comparable period, as well as lower catalog sales. This decline was partially offset by growth in theatrical revenues, which increased 4% to $1.28 billion due primarily to stronger performance from the Company’s tentpole films year-over-year. Worldwide television license fees were flat at $938 million.

Quarterly adjusted operating income increased 4% to $837 million compared with $801 million in the prior year. This growth was driven by a 9% increase in Media Networks operating income to $873 million, which reflects higher advertising and affiliate revenues partially offset by the Company’s continuing investment in programming. Filmed Entertainment operating income was down $21 million to $52 million due to the timing and mix of theatrical releases, particularly the difficult year-over-year comparison with the theatrical success of the 2009 hit tentpole Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Fiscal 2010 adjusted operating income grew 14% to $2.21 billion versus $1.94 billion in the comparable period of 2009. Media Networks operating income was up 9% to $2.40 billion and Filmed Entertainment grew its operating income by $94 million versus the prior year’s comparable period as the segment delivered a $38 million profit. This increase primarily reflects the improved profitability of the fiscal 2010 releases.

Quarterly adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom increased 7% to $461 million as compared with $432 million in the prior year. This growth reflects primarily the after-tax impact of higher operating income. Adjusted diluted net EPS from continuing operations for the quarter were $0.75, an increase of 6% over the comparable quarter in 2009 when adjusted diluted net EPS from continuing operations were $0.71.

Fiscal 2010 adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom increased 20% to $1.15 billion versus $953 million, principally due to after-tax impact of higher operating income. Fiscal year 2010 adjusted diluted net EPS from continuing operations were $1.88 compared with $1.57 in the prior year’s comparable period.

Quarterly net earnings attributable to Viacom and Fiscal 2010 net earnings attributable to Viacom were $189 million and $854 million respectively, including the impact of reclassifying Harmonix as a discontinued operation. Diluted net EPS for the quarter were $0.31 and for fiscal 2010 were $1.40.

Stock Repurchase Program

On October 1, 2010, Viacom resumed share repurchases. Since that time, the Company has repurchased 4.3 million shares for an aggregate purchase price of $162 million. As of November 10, 2010, Viacom had $3.84 billion remaining in its $4 billion stock repurchase program.

Debt

At September 30, 2010, total debt outstanding, including capital lease obligations, was $6.75 billion, compared with $6.77 billion at December31, 2009. The Company’s cash balances increased to $837 million at September 30, 2010 compared with $298 million at December 31, 2009.

About Viacom

Viacom, consisting of BET Networks, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, is the world’s leading entertainment content company. It engages audiences on television, motion picture and digital platforms through many of the world’s best known entertainment brands, including MTV, VH1, CMT, Palladia, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, BET, CENTRIC, AddictingGames, Atom, Neopets, Shockwave and Paramount Pictures. Viacom’s global reach includes approximately 170 channels and 500 digital media properties in more than 160 countries and territories.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains both historical and forward-looking statements. All statements that are not statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectations concerning future results, objectives, plans and goals, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others: the public acceptance of the Company’s programs, motion pictures and other entertainment content on the various platforms on which they are distributed; technological developments and their effect in the Company’s markets and on consumer behavior; the impact of piracy; competition for audiences and distribution; fluctuations in the Company’s results due to the timing, mix and availability of the Company’s motion pictures; economic conditions generally, and in advertising and retail markets in particular; changes in the Federal communications laws and regulations; other domestic and global economic, business, competitive and/or regulatory factors affecting the Company’s businesses generally; and other factors described in the Company’s news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual reports on Form 10-K and reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document, and the Company does not have any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Link to full report

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