reported double-digit second-quarter revenue growth and set plans to buy gamer
for $200 million.
The New York media company said it earned $416 million, or 58 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30. That compared with earnings of $328.5 million on a pro forma basis last year before the company split with
Earnings included a 10-cent benefit related to release of tax reserves principally due to audit settlements.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting the company to earn 44 cents per share on $2.54 billion in revenue.
"Viacom's solid second quarter results prove that the enduring strengths of our content and our segment leading brands continue to resonate with consumers and advertisers," said Chairman Sumner Redstone, in a statement. "We have a great foundation from which to take full advantage of the growth opportunities we see ahead by not only expanding on our traditional businesses, but also by profitably integrating new platforms with significant future growth potential."
Separately, Viacom's MTV Networks said it has acquired closely held gaming and video company Atom Entertainment for $200 million.
MTV Networks is trying to build out its multiplatform strategy. Atom is an online entertainment firm which counts Shockwave.com and AddictingGames.com, two large casual gaming sites. The company's other properties AtomFilms.com and AddictingClips.com are film and video sites for short-form comedy, animation, drama and user-generated content.
The MTV Networks division of Viacom's recent new media Internet-driven purchases include XFIRE, Y2M, GameTrailers.com, IFILM and Neopets.
"This acquisition is right on the money with our digital strategy," said Viacom Chief Executive Tom Freston, in a statement. "It adds great scale with users, improves our growing casual gaming position, and brings a world-class digital video library and a fantastic management team."
Viacom reaffirmed its full-year guidance to deliver double-digit revenue and operating-income growth compared with 2005 revenue of $9.61 billion. The company also expects to hit earnings per share in the range of $1.95 to $2.
Analysts will be looking for earnings of 52 cents on $2.66 billion in revenue next quarter.
Viacom shares rose $1.15 late Wednesday to $34.90.