Star Trek, World War Z Lift Viacom
Ninety-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone had good reason to be smiling today (Friday). A day after his CBS Corp. reported a better-than-expected second quarter, his Viacom Inc. reported a 20-percent jump in net income for its fiscal third quarter. Showing particularly strong earnings was Viacom's Paramount unit, which brought in $1.16 billion as worldwide ticket sales soared 64 percent to $464 million, thanks to hits such as Star Trek Into Darkness, and World War Z. Viacom's revenue at its media networks, which include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Night, BET, Comedy Central, TV Land, and Spike, increased 13 percent to $2.57 billion. The company attributed much of its revenue growth to deals with video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Xbox Live. (In June Viacom dumped and exclusive deal with Netflix and signed one with Amazon.) The company also announced that it plans to double its share repurchase commitment from $10 billion to $20 billion, a decision that CEO Philippe Dauman said, highlights the confidence we have in our business and the value of Viacom stock.