Viacom, whose properties include Paramount Pictures and MTV, posted stronger results on Thursday, boosted by its cable networks division, although its television and radio divisions felt the impact of an advertising slump affecting the whole industry.
The company reported a net profit of $17 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with a loss of $496 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-earlier figure includes charges from its acquisition of CBS.
The Wall Street consensus estimate was a break even on a per share basis, with estimates ranging from a loss of 6 cents to a profit of 4 cents, according to tracking firm Thomson Financial/First Call.
Assuming the same portfolio of assets in both years, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 12 per cent to $1.36 billion from $1.21 billion a year earlier, on revenues that rose 1 per cent to $5.71 billion. EBITDA is a common measurement of cash flow and is widely watched in the media business.
Including CBS and other recently acquired assets, EBITDA rose fivefold to $1.36 billion from $272.8 million, on revenue that increased 12 per cent to $5.72 billion from $4.85 billion.