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Viacom Earnings Soar on Lower Costs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Viacom (VIA - Get Report) saw earnings rise more than 50% during the second quarter, driven by solid revenue and reduced expenses.

For the quarter ended June 30, the company saw earnings rise 51.6% to $420 million, or 69 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $277 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations were 68 cents per share, slightly ahead of analyst estimates of 66 cents per share.

Total expenses were down 7.6% to $2.51 billion from $2.71 billion.

Revenue was essentially flat at $3.3 billion during the quarter. Revenue related to the company's filmed entertainment segment fell 10% to $1.25 billion from $1.38 billion due to lower home entertainment revenues, which were down 43%.

Worldwide theatrical revenue was up 10% driven by the successful performance of Marvel Studio's Iron Man 2 as well as DreamWorks Animation's Shrek Forever After.

Both domestic advertising revenue and worldwide revenue rose 4%.

"We are well positioned to capitalize on improving trends in the advertising market. We have strong slates of new and returning programming debuting in the coming months on MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Spike, Comedy Central and other networks, which we continue to deliver to audiences on multiple screens and devices," said Philippe Dauman, the president and CEO.

For the first half of the year, earnings rose 46.5% to $665 million, or $1.08 per share, compared with earnings of $454 million, or 75 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue fell 1.9% to $6.09 billion from $6.2 billion. The 5% gain in media network revenue was offset by the 14% drop in revenue from the filmed entertainment segment.

Viacom shares are trading around $34.

-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

Follow Theresa McCabe on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks. Copyright 2010 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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