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VIACOM 3Q EARNINGS UP, PROFITS DOWN, EXPECTATIONS BEAT

If You Recall From The Dramatic 2Q Cliffhanger, The EBITDA Was Trapped In A Dungeon!
On Wednesday (10/24), Viacom reported an increase in 3Q earnings and a drop in profits. But the company still beat market expectations. Beat ‘em like they'd done somethin' wrong.

Viacom, parent company of MTV, CBS and Paramount Studios, reported net income dropped to $33 million (or 2 cents a share), from $97 million (or 14 cents a share) in the same period last year. The 2 cents a share drop barely squeaked by most market forecasts, which averaged right at 2 cents a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

Thanks in a large part to the ridiculous success of CBS' "Survivor," revenues rose 79% to $6 billion from $3.3 billion.

Pro forma revenues, which are much more talented than the "amateur forma" revenues, rose 7% to $6 billion from $5.6 billion in the same period last year. Pro forma revenues at Viacom's cable networks rose 13% to $1 billion, led by double-digit increases in MTV ad revenues.

Third quarter EBITDA—the world's third most exciting acronym—rose to $1.4 billion from $540 million last year. The company claimed it was on track to deliver full-year EBITDA of $5 billion and to achieve a growth of 20 percent for all of 2001. Ironically, 5 billion is exactly the number of adults, age 24-50, who have no idea what EBITDA means.

"The quarter was fueled by double-digit ad sales growth across the board," said Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone in a latte-stained statement, "spurred by such ratings triumphs as CBS' ‘Survivor,' which generated significant prime-time audience gains at CBS, and MTV's Video Music Awards, this year's highest-rated cable entertainment program. Thank god for Rage's Timmy C."

And for those of you still not sleeping, might we suggest a dramatic reading of the periodic table?

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ON THE COVER:
OLIVIA RODRIGO
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ADELE ADELE ADELE
Adele; Adele Adele?
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
A... dele?
ADELE ADELE
Adele Adele; Adele.
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
(Adele.)
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