Earnings Preview: Viacom

| About: Viacom Inc. (VIA)

Viacom (NYSE:VIA) is expected to report Q3 earnings before the market open on Friday, August 3 with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET.


Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.00 on revenue of $3.49B. The consensus range is 91c-$1.06 for EPS, and $3.27B-$3.78B for revenue, according to First Call. In May, Viacom said it looked to grow affiliate revenue 10% in FY12, but forecast Q3 affiliate revenue down slightly in Q3 vs. the prior year; the company forecast double digit growth in affiliate revenue for Q4. Additionally, Viacom said it expected to purchase $700M of stock in Q3 and $2.8B of stock for FY12. During the quarter, Viacom raised its quarterly dividend 10% to 27.5c from 25c per share and said that its development is largely organic, with "limited" M&A.

The company also faced a dispute with DirecTV (DTV) which resulted in Viacom dropping 17 national networks, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, from the DirecTV lineup; the companies announced a carriage agreement on July 20. Analysts and investors will listen for comments from the company on ratings at its networks, as ratings for Nickelodeon fell 33% from 1.8M to 1.2M on the day after the channel was dropped from DirecTV. In the year-ago quarter, Viacom reported adjusted EPS of 99c on revenue of $3.77B.