Quantcast
VIACOM’S VITAL SIGNS VIGOROUS
Red-Hot Media Conglom Beats Q4 Forecasts, Works to Keep Karmazin
Viacom, owner of MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures and CBS, sounded a rare positive note among its fellow media conglomerates when it announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2002 results, both of which beat analyst forecasts.

For Q4, revenue rose to $6.8 billion, up 12% from $6 billion for Q4 2001, while operating income increased to $1.3 billion from $277 Million. Net earnings were $652 million, or $.37 per share, reversing a loss of $43 million, or a $.02 per share in Q4 ’01. Analysts had predicted earnings of $.34 per share.

For the full year, revenue rose 6% to $24.6 billion over the previous year’s $23.2 billion. Operating income spiked to $4.6 billion, up from $1.5 billion. Net earnings came to $726 million, or $.41 per share, reversing a loss of $224 million, or $.13 per share last year.

Not counting charges due to changes in accounting rules, the company said it earned $1.24 per share for the year. Analysts had predicted full-year EPS of $1.21 on that basis.

For the quarter, Viacom’s Cable Networks segment, which includes MTV Networks, BET and Showtime, saw revenue increased 16% to $1.3 billion, from $1.2 billion a year earlier. Remarkably, this increase was led by a huge 23% gain in ad revenue, including double-digit growth at both MTVN and BET. Operating income increased 57% to $533 million, from $340 million. EBITDA increased 25% to $581 million from $464 million.

For the year, Cable Networks revenue increased 10% to $4.7 billion, from $4.3 billion. Operating income increased 44% to $1.8 billion, from $1.2 billion. Viacom attributed these increases to 12% overall ad growth and an 8% increase in affiliate fees, led by double-digit increases at MTVN.  Full-year Cable Networks EBITDA increased 17% to $2.0 billion.

Viacom’s Television unit, which includes CBS and UPN, as well as production and syndication operations, saw Q4 revenue increased 6% to $2.1 billion, from $2.0 billion a year earlier. Operating income rose to $321 million from $42 million, driven by ad revenue growth of 13%. Television EBITDA increased 55% to $358 million, from $230 million a year earlier.

For the year, Television revenue increased 3% to $7.5 billion, from $7.2 billion in 2001. Operating income increased to $1.2 billion from $402 million. Television EBITDA increased 13% to $1.3 billion, from $1.2 billion in 2001.

The company’s Infinity unit, including radio stations and outdoor advertising, saw Q4 revenue increase by 6% to $998 million, from $939 million a year ago. Operating income increased to $338 million from $73 million in the prior year, led by growth in New York and Los Angeles. Infinity's Q4 EBITDA increased 3% to $398 million, up from $385 million a year earlier.

For the year, Infinity revenue rose 2% to $3.8 billion, from $3.7 billion in 2001. Operating income increased to $1.2 billion from $292 million. Infinity's full-year EBITDA decreased 4% to $1.5 billion.

Viacom’s Entertainment unit, which includes Paramount, Famous Players, Famous Music Publishing, Paramount Parks and Simon & Schuster, realized Q4 revenue of $903 million, down 8% from $978 million a year earlier. Operating income increased to $49 million from $14 million, benefiting from lower distribution, development and overhead costs for feature films. Entertainment EBITDA increased 34% to $80 million from $59 million.

For the year, Entertainment revenues rose 1% to $3.6 billion, while operating income increased 68% to $334 million, again driven by lower distribution, development and overhead costs for feature films.

The company’s Blockbuster unit experienced a Q4 revenue increase of 17% to $1.6 billion, compared to $1.4 billion a year earlier. Operating income increased to $84 million from $28 million, thanks to the DVD boom. Blockbuster’s Q4 EBITDA increased 6% to $143 million from $136 million.

For the year, Blockbuster revenue increased 8% to $5.6 billion, compared to $5.2 billion in 2001. Operating income increased to $356 million from a loss of $220 million. Full-year EBITDA was $590 million, up from $204 million the year before.

“Our fourth quarter and full year results are yet another indication that Viacom has the right assets, the right management and the right strategy to continue to grow year after year,” said Viacom Chairman/CEO Sumner Redstone. “We built momentum throughout the year, culminating with an outstanding performance by most of our core businesses in the fourth quarter. Our performance in 2002 is but a forerunner of what we expect to accomplish in 2003.”

"Viacom turned in a record performance in 2002, a year of accomplishments creatively, operationally and financially in every division of the Company,” said President/COO Mel Karmazin. “We are off to a strong start in 2003 and we intend to continue to focus on combining new efficiencies with smart investments in programming that will drive revenue growth, particularly in our high margin, high growth businesses."

In other Viacom news, Redstone told analysts that he and Karmazin are working to resolve the issue of renewing second-in-command Karmazin’s contract, saying the two are “working cooperatively” and that the pair will strive for the right outcome as opposed to rushing to a decision, which has been eagerly awaited by Karmazin-watchers.

There. Is that enough good news for you?

2019 TOP 50 ALBUMS
It's that time of year. (12/10a)
HIPGNOSIS NABS KAISERS
Merck predicts a riot. (12/10a)
2019 MARKETSHARE:
SHOCK OF THE NEW
They got a name for the winners in the world. (12/10a)
NEAR TRUTHS: YEAR-END WRAP-UP, PART 1
Guess who's on top of the heap...again. (12/10a)
SECRET SANTA’S
SURPRISE PACKAGE
We hope he/she makes the delivery. (12/10a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want. for Christmas.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)