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TrekToday - Viacom Revenues Rise 78% After CBS Acquisition

Viacom Revenues Rise 78% After CBS Acquisition

By Christian
February 14, 2001 - 2:12 PM

Viacom today reported fourth-quarter earnings that were just a penny per share short of analysts' expectations, but thanks to strong showings by its cable and television units posted record revenues that had grown 78%.

Strongly improved earnings from the company's television and cable units were the main reason for the higher revenue in the fourth quarter of 2000, with particularly the acquisition of the CBS television network being important for this. However, the company also said that "higher revenues led to continued improvement" at UPN, showing more support for the 'Voyager' home network.

Other Trek-related units of the company also did well. TNN: The National Network, which will start rerunning TNG episodes this Fall, completed its first full quarter as a general entertainment network. TNN became the no.9 cable network in adults 18-49 from the quarter, up from no. 19 a year, while January 2001 was the most-watched month in the history of the network. Simon & Schuster, which also publishes Star Trek books, managed to get 87 books on the New York Times bestseller list, and at one point even had a record 19 simultaneous bestsellers on the list.

Net income for the quarter was $30.4 million, or 2 cents per share, slightly less than the 3 cents analysts were expecting. A year ago, profits for the quarter totalled $133.1 million, or 19 share. Most of the decline in profit was due to amortization costs from the purchase of the CBS television network, and a special charge from the decline in value of the company's internet investments.

Revenue increased by 78% to $6.36 billion, mostly due to the addition of CBS' revenues to the numbers. Looking at both companies combined, revenues increased 5%.

Viacom is the parent company of Paramount Pictures, the production company of all Star Trek television shows and movies, as well as of UPN, the network on which 'Star Trek: Voyager' is currently airing. Other units of the company include the CBS television network, the Blockbuster video rental chain and cable network MTV. Last year, the company also bought a majority stake in radio station owner Infinity Broadcasting.

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