reported better-than-expected second-quarter results Thursday morning, saying its cable networks, television, and video segments all saw 4% increases in revenue.
The company posted net earnings of $547 million, or 31 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $17 million, or 1 cent a share, last year. On a comparable basis assuming the adoption of accounting rules regarding the amortization of goodwill last year, 2001 net earnings would have been $524 million, or 29 cents a share.
According to tracking firm Thomson Financial/First Call, analysts had been expecting the company to earn 29 cents in the quarter.
Total revenue increased to $5.85 billion from $5.72 billion, while operating income was up to $1.18 billion from $586 million in the year-ago period. Viacom's cable networks segment posted revenue of $1.11 billion, up from $1.06 billion last year due to growth in advertising revenue and affiliate fees. The company's broadcast television revenue was $1.7 billion, with EBITDA of $385 million, a 7% increase due to advertising revenue growth and stronger ratings at CBS.
Blockbuster Video also posted 4% revenue growth to $1.27 billion from $1.23 billion, with EBITDA rising to $129 million from $118 million. The company said its higher operating income was driven by growth in DVD rental revenue.
In a press release, Viacom said its second-quarter results "point out the unique value of our mix of businesses and the strength of our position in those businesses." Going forward, the company forecast double-digit growth in earnings per share, operating income, and EBITDA for the full year, as well as escalating growth from the third quarter into the fourth.
Shares of the media giant closed Wednesday at $34.44 on the
New York Stock Exchange
before the news.