Viacom Profits Plunged by 60% Last Quarter

Updated: May 04, 2017 7:43 AM ET

Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, reported quarterly profit and revenue that handily beat estimates, helped in part by the success of its latest movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

Revenue from Viacom's film business jumped 37% to $895 million in the company's second quarter ended March 31. Analysts on average had expected the business to generate revenue of $676.5 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet.

Viacom said action thriller xXx: Return of Xander Cage, starring Vin Diesel, grossed more than $346 million at the worldwide box office.

The media company in February said it would focus on six of its brands as part of a turnaround plan orchestrated by Chief Executive Bob Bakish. The brands are: Paramount, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr.

Additionally, Bakish has said he is focused on improving relations with Viacom's affiliates, and licensing less content to video streaming companies like Netflix (nflx) and Hulu.

Net profit attributable to Viacom fell to $121 million, or 30 cents per share, in the company's second quarter, from $303 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company took a $174 million charge related to restructuring in the second quarter.

Excluding items, Viacom earned 79 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate of 59 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters

Viacom's revenue rose 8.5% to $3.26 billion. Analysts had expected $3.02 billion.

Shares of the company (vz) were up slightly in light premarket trading.

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