Viacom Has Sharp Earnings Drop
Wednesday, February 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
NEW YORK (AP) â€” Viacom Inc. reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter net earnings Wednesday on Internet losses and a goodwill writedown related to its merger with CBS. Revenues and cash earnings rose.
The media conglomerate, whose holdings include MTV, Blockbuster, the Paramount movie studio and Simon & Schuster, reported net earnings of $30.4 million including the charges, down from $133.1 million a year ago.
Viacom said that its pre-tax cash flow, excluding the $99 million Internet writeoff and other one-time factors, rose 17 percent to $1.36 billion to $1.17 billion, while revenues grew 5 percent to $6.35 billion from $6.04 billion. The year-ago figures have been adjusted to include the merger with CBS, which closed last May.
Earnings excluding the charges came to $76 million, or 5 cents per share, above analysts' estimates of 3 cents a share, as reported by First Call/Thomson Financial.
Shares of Viacom were down $1.64 at $52.07 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Viacom said it expects ``modest'' growth in the first quarter of 2001 compared to the same period last year, when a boom of advertising from dot-com companies boosted results across the board.
For the full year, Viacom had a net loss of $816.1 million due to merger writedowns and an accounting charge on its film library, compared to 1999 net earnings of $334 million.
Full-year cash flow rose 18 percent to $5.02 billion from $4.26 billion as revenues rose 8 percent to $23.36 billion from $21.70 billion in 1999.