Viacom beats quarterly revenue estimates

A person exits the Viacom offices in New York.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, beat estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Thursday, as it posted rare growth in domestic advertising revenue after about five years of declines.

Viacom said domestic advertising revenue rose 6% to $976 million.

"Importantly, we returned domestic advertising revenue to growth, which is a direct result of the strategy we have been executing for the last two years and the significant progress we have made in scaling Advanced Marketing Solutions," Viacom Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish said.

Talks with CBS to recombine are ongoing with a deal expected to land shortly, people familiar with the matter have said.

Last week, the two companies, both controlled by Sumner and Shari Redstone's National Amusements Inc, agreed to a management structure that will see Bakish become the CEO of the new company.

Viacom on Thursday did not provide any details on the merger talks.

Revenue from the filmed entertainment division, which includes Paramount Pictures, rose 14% to $877 million, above estimates of $855.7 million.

Net income attributable to Viacom rose to $544 million, or $1.35 per share, in the third quarter ended June 30, from $522 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose to $3.36 billion from $3.24 billion, beating the average estimate of $3.33 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.20 per share, above the average estimate of $1.07 per share.