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Viacom posts earnings of $1.47 a share vs $1.47 a share expected

Viacom delivered quarterly earnings that matched analysts' expectations on Thursday, but revenue was light, hurt by lower revenue from the company's films business as there were no major movie releases in the quarter.

The company, which operates popular TV channels including MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, was also hurt by a fall in its U.S. advertising revenue.

The media giant posted third-quarter earnings of $1.47 per share, up from $1.42 in the year-earlier period.

Revenue fell to $3.06 billion from $3.42 billion a year ago.

Wall Street had expected the company to deliver quarterly earnings per share of $1.47 on $3.22 billion in revenue, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

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Revenue from Viacom's studio business, which includes Paramount Pictures, fell 44 percent to $479 million. The company had benefited in the year-earlier quarter from the release of its blockbuster "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

Viacom's movie slate for the fourth quarter includes "Terminator: Genisys" and "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation", which are expected to drive revenue.

The company, controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone, said advertising revenue fell 9 percent in its U.S. cable and media network business.

So far this year, Viacom shares have lagged behind media competitors, losing about 30 percent of their value.

Viacom agreed to sell its Italian MTV free-to-air channel to European pay TV company Sky for an undisclosed amount in July.

Viacom had been facing questions over who might replace 91-year-old Viacom Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone.

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Redstone, who controls about 80 percent of the company's voting shares, denied reports earlier in May that his daughter Shari Redstone would become chairman after he dies.

Reuters contributed to this report.