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Viacom (VIAB) - Get Free Report , soon to be CBSViacom, on Thursday posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts as it continued to make inroads in capitalizing off its programming, and as its famed but previously floundering Paramount studio division returned to full-year profitability.  

The New York-based media giant posted adjusted earnings of $321 million, or 79 cents a share, vs. $400 million, or 99 cents a share, in the comparable year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of 76 cents a share. Revenue came in at $3.43 billion, below last year's $3.49 billion but ahead of analysts' consensus forecasts of $3.42 billion.

Adjusted operating income rang in at $572 million vs. $671 million in the comparable year-ago quarter.

Domestic advertising revenue grew 6% in the quarter, driven by the continued success of the company's so-called Advanced Marketing Solutions, which include a combination of digital, television and mix-media advertising efforts.

Its Paramount segment, meantime, which includes Paramount Pictures as well as cable networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, "... delivered three straight years of year-over-year adjusted operating income improvement and achieved full year profitability for the first time in four years," the company said.

The company's closely watched film unit posted its 11th straight quarterly bottom-line improvement, registering a fiscal full-year profit of $78 million, with "Crawl" and "Dora and the Lost City of Gold" generating strong box-office sales, Viacom said.

Paramount is slated to release 17 films in fiscal 2020, including "A Quiet Place Part II," "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run" and "Top Gun: Maverick."

"As we look to the future of a combined ViacomCBS, we're thrilled with the momentum we have to create one of the world's preeminent content companies."

CBS (CBS) - Get Free Report on Tuesday posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings but saw ad sales fall sharply in its final stand-alone report before its $30 billion December merger with Viacom.

Shares of Viacom were up 0.86% at $22.24 in morning trading on Thursday. Shares of CBS were up 1.3% at $37.33.

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