Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Wednesday, weighed down by lower domestic advertising sales and the absence of hit movie releases at its Paramount film studio.
Domestic advertising revenue fell 8% in the fourth quarter ended on Sept. 30, the ninth consecutive quarterly decline.
Analysts on average had expected a 7.8% fall, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.
Viacom, which has been struggling to turn around ratings and a decline in ad revenue, faces uncertainty after chief executive Philippe Dauman was forced to resign in the wake of a bruising public battle with controlling shareholders Shari and Sumner Redstone.
Following Dauman’s exit in August, the Redstones, who own 80% of voting shares of both CBS and Viacom, pushed the companies to consider merging. Both have formed special committees of their directors to explore the idea.
Many investors and observers expect the two to merge, with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves at the helm.
Earlier this month, Viacom said Bob Bakish, who heads its international business, would replace Tom Dooley as acting CEO. Dooley will leave Viacom on Tuesday.
Viacom‘s total revenue fell 14.8% to $3.23 billion. Analysts on average were expecting $3.30 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net profit attributable to Viacom plunged to $254 million, or 64 cents per share, from $884 million, or $2.21 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, earnings of 69 cents per share beat the analysts’ average estimate of 65 cents.
Revenue from Viacom‘s film business fell 24.5% to $774 million from a year earlier, when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation had a strong international performance.
The company booked a pretax charge of $206 million in the quarter for restructuring costs from the departures of certain senior executives, including Dauman.