ViacomCBS Beats Q3 Earnings Forecast As Streaming Service Revenues Surge, Subscribers Near 18 Million

ViacomCBS said its burgeoning streaming service, which includes CBS All Access and Showtime, saw a 56% surge in third quarter revenues and a subscriber base of nearly 18 million.

ViacomCBS Inc.  (VIA) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Friday as revenues from its digital and streaming service surged and subscribers neared the 18 million mark.

ViacomCBS said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in September came in at 91 cents per share, around 11 cents ahead of Wall Street forecasts. Group revenues, the company said, fell 9% from last year to $6.116 billion, but again bested analysts' estimates of a $5.96 billion tally.

Advertizing revenues fell 6% from last year to $2.19 billion, ViacomCBS said, while streaming and digital revenues rose 56% to $636 million as its subscriber base neared its 18 million target for 2020 by the close of the third quarter.

“As we near the first anniversary of the ViacomCBS merger, I’m thrilled about the way our organization has come together to realize the power of the combination and seize our unique global opportunity in streaming," said CEO Bob Bakish. "This quarter, we achieved strong user growth across our streaming platforms as we continue to build our linked ecosystem of pay and free services – with big steps taken, including the preview and brand reveal of Paramount+ ahead of its launch in early 2021, and more recently, the unification of our global streaming organization."

"Our company’s transformation is ahead of schedule and we are incredibly excited by the opportunities ahead,” he added.  

ViacomCBS shares slumped 3.13% in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $30.29 each, a move that trims the stock's six-month gain to just over 103%.