Viacom, Inc. (VIAB) Tanks on Earnings; Chairman Vows Recovery


The stock price of Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) declined more than 21 % to $35.47 per share at the time of this writing around 1:03 PM in New York, after the company reported that its quarterly earnings and revenue declined.

Viacom is a media conglomerate that owns MTV, VHI, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures.  The company lost 48% of stock value over the past year. Its stock price dropped from its highest trading price of $73.53 per share to as low as $35.27 per share over the past 52 weeks.

Viacom financial results

For the quarter ended December 31, 2015, Viacom reported that its adjusted earnings declined 9% to $1.18 per share from $1.29 in the same period a year earlier.

The company’s adjusted operating income dropped 13% to $839 million from $959 million. Its revenue was $3.15 billion, down 6% from $3.34 billion in the year-ago quarter.

In a statement, Philippe Dauman, the newly appointed Chairman of the Viacom said, “2015 was a challenging year operationally as we redesigned ourselves and adapted to significant industry disruption. Our first fiscal quarter of 2016 reflected these challenges.”  Dauman also serves as President and CEO of the company.

Viacom has a bright future ahead

Dauman added that Viacom’s revitalized organization and investments in content technology and strategic innovation are beginning to bear fruit. He expects the company to continue to have a positive momentum this year although the industry is confronting headwinds.

During the company’s earnings call, Dauman said, “Our outlook and the facts have been distorted and obscured by the naysayers, self-interested critics, and publicity seekers. We will not be distracted or deterred as we build for the bright future ahead of us.”

He emphasized that the stock price of Viacom would return to the “much higher level I enjoyed under my leadership just a short time ago.” Dauman was unanimously elected as the new Chairman of Viacom last week after Sumner Redstone stepped down from his position. The 92-year old billionaire supported Dauman.

However, the billionaire’s daughter, Shari Redstone called for an independent leader to serve as Chairman of Viacom. Dauman is a member of the Sumner’s trust and responsible for his medical care.

“My singular objective is to protect and build value for all of Viacom’s shareholders, and in doing so, for all the beneficiaries of Sumner’s trust — not only including the descendants of his daughter but also those of her brother,” said Dauman.

Update:  Viacom shares closed $32.86 per share, down more than 21% today.