‘Mission Impossible’ powers Viacom results beat

The Viacom office is seen in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) – Viacom Inc (VIAB.O), the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, beat Wall Street estimates for profit and revenue on Friday, as its Paramount Pictures division gained from the success of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”.

The upbeat results lifted the company’s shares by around 4 percent to $33.5 in trading before the bell.

Viacom said worldwide affiliate revenue was $1.19 billion, beating estimates of $1.17 billion, according to data from Refinitiv. Total consolidated revenue in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 also rose 5 percent to $3.49 billion from $3.32 billion a year earlier.

Since taking the helm in 2016, Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish has focused on Paramount and the company’s cable TV business, which like its peers has been losing subscribers in the face of competition from Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Inc’s (AMZN.O) Prime video.

Paramount, which returned to profitability in the second quarter, racked up nearly $800 million in worldwide sales from the latest installment of the Tom Cruise-helmed action series, the company said.

Net income attributable to Viacom, however, fell to $394 million, or 98 cents per share, from $674 million, or $1.67 per share. Total expenses rose 3.6 percent to $2.84 billion in the quarter.

On an adjusted basis, earnings reached 99 cents per share, the company said.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 95 cents per share and revenue of $3.37 billion.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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