Viacom 3rd-quarter profit falls on softness in filmed entertainment division

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Viacom’s fiscal third-quarter net income fell 5 per cent, hurt in part by weakness in its filmed entertainment unit.

The New York company’s earnings dropped to $610 million, or $1.40 per share, from $643 million, or $1.31 per share, a year earlier.

Removing certain items, earnings from continuing operations were $1.42 per share. This was a penny short of what analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Revenue declined 7 per cent to $3.42 billion from $3.69 billion due to weakness in the filmed entertainment division — which includes Paramount Pictures. Viacom Inc. said Wednesday that the unit’s revenue slipped primarily because of a 43 per cent drop in movie revenue due to the number of releases and the timing of such releases.

Wall Street forecast $3.56 billion in total revenue.

Revenue for the media networks division edged up 1 per cent, while worldwide home entertainment revenue dropped 24 per cent. Worldwide affiliate fee revenue was flat.