Viacom Inc.

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  • Yesterday, 6:36 PM
    | Yesterday, 6:36 PM | 1 Comment
  • Yesterday, 3:58 PM
    | Yesterday, 3:58 PM | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 9, 9:13 PM
    • Viacom (VIA -17.8%, VIAB -21.5%) B shares finished at their lowest point in more than five years after disappointing Q4 earnings and a conference call that failed to inspire confidence.
    • In a tense call, Philippe Dauman -- now CEO and executive chairman, after the resignation of Sumner Redstone -- said the facts were "distorted and obscured by the naysayers, self-interested critics and publicity seekers."
    • The succession drama has raised questions that haven't been entirely settled now that Dauman has two key roles, but Redstone still has the ownership of 80% of voting shares. Richard D. Greenfield, who filed a shareholder lawsuit last month, questions whether Redstone's resignation letter is valid.
    • "We suppose somebody drafted it for him and signed it for him," he tells CTFN. "According to Manuela Herzer (Redstone’s ex-girlfriend who is fighting her removal as his designated health care agent), he is in no position to sign anything."
    • The suit is targeting lucrative compensation for Redstone and Dauman even as the stock has tumbled. Viacom's been “pushing (Redstone) an awful lot of money to be sitting in a bed. We are seeking repayment of that money. It is in the millions of dollars.”
    • Previously: Viacom -15% to new low after poor earnings, tense call (Feb. 09 2016)
    • Previously: Viacom -4.8% as ad sales, movie revenues decline (Feb. 09 2016)
    | Tue, Feb. 9, 9:13 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 9, 12:52 PM
    • Viacom (VIA -12.3%, VIAB -15.2%) is now off more than 15% and hitting new 52-week lows after a tense earnings call where chief Philippe Dauman pushed back against "naysayers."
    • The call followed a Q4 report where the company saw declines in revenue with ad sales slipping and film revenues that tumbled 15%.
    • "Our outlook and the facts have been distorted and obscured by the naysayers, self-interested critics and publicity seekers," Dauman said. Despite a couple of years of price declines, Viacom's stock buyers have waded through "a lot of noise."
    • "How is this not a business in decline?" asks Bernstein's Todd Juenger, who rates the stock Underperform. Everything was down Y/Y, he notes, and "at this juncture, we think the stock is being driven much more by handicapping of the Dish renewal, and any continued drama surrounding changes in control. None of which is addressed in the press release, and probably won’t be addressed on the conference call either."
    • Regarding change of control: The company said Sumner Redstone (now chairman emeritus) was on the call, but he didn't speak, leaving commentary to new Executive Chairman Dauman.
    • Juenger has a $42 price target; VIAB shares closed yesterday at $41.85 and are trading currently at $35.51. The shares have lost 47.7% of value over the past 12 months.
    • Previously: Viacom -4.8% as ad sales, movie revenues decline (Feb. 09 2016)
    • Previously: Viacom EPS in-line, misses on revenue (Feb. 09 2016)
    • Previously: Viacom, Snapchat agree on multiyear ad sales deal (Feb. 09 2016)
    | Tue, Feb. 9, 12:52 PM | 10 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 9, 9:28 AM
    • Viacom (VIA, VIAB) B shares are off 4.8% premarket after a dearth of Paramount hits and weaker ad sales hit the top line and revenues missed expectations.
    • Revenue by segment: Media Networks, $2.57B (down 3%); Filmed Entertainment, $612M (down 15%). Excluding negative impact from foreign exchange: Media Networks down 2%, Filmed Entertainment down 12%.
    • Filmed Entertainment also operated at a loss of $146M vs. a year-ago operating loss of $60M. Media Networks, meanwhile, showed an operating profit of $1.06B, down 4% Y/Y.
    • Ratings hit the TV operations: Despite an increase in ad pricing, ad revenues dropped 4% domestically and international ad revenues fell 2%, though they showed signs of life (up 6% ex-forex).
    • Conference call link
    • Press release
    | Tue, Feb. 9, 9:28 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 9, 1:02 AM
    • Viacom (VIA -3.4%, VIAB -3.2%) has a new phase to a fledgling partnership with Snapchat, signing a multiyear deal where it can sell advertising on Snapchat's behalf in what could be a win-win.
    • The media giant gets exclusive third-party rights to sell advertising around Snapchat's owned and operated content, and will add two new channels to Snapchat Discover, the media-centric story section of the popular chat service.
    • It already runs an MTV international channel and a U.S. Comedy Central channel; now MTV will get a U.S. channel and Comedy Central a global outlet.
    • Viacom has suffered through a rough year of declining ratings (and corresponding ad problems) and could benefit from an injection of millennial cred, while Snapchat could use Viacom's power for a leg up on competitors for big advertisers.
    | Tue, Feb. 9, 1:02 AM
  • Thu, Feb. 4, 11:56 AM
    • As with CBS (CBS +0.9%) yesterday, Sumner Redstone will leave his post as executive chairman at Viacom (VIA, VIAB) and become chairman emeritus. Viacom announced the move after a morning board meeting.
    • CEO Philippe Dauman will succeed Redstone as executive chairman, though the decision wasn't unanimous: Shari Redstone, Sumner's daughter, didn't vote in favor.
    • Yesterday, CBS said Redstone had resigned his post there and was replaced as executive chairman by chief Les Moonves. Shari had been entitled under the Redstone family trust to become chairman of both CBS and Viacom after Sumner's departure of those posts, but a deal enabled Moonves to chair CBS instead; she had no similar deal with Dauman.
    • As with CBS, Shari was offered a spot as non-executive chairman at Viacom but declined that post.
    • Currently: VIA +0.1%; VIAB +0.5%.
    • Previously: CBS names Moonves to replaces Redstone as Executive Chairman (Feb. 03 2016)
    | Thu, Feb. 4, 11:56 AM
  • Wed, Feb. 3, 4:37 PM
    • CBS says Chairman Sumner Redstone has resigned and is named chairman emeritus, and the company has approved President and CEO Leslie Moonves as his successor.
    • CBS says it offered the chairman's position to Redstone's daughter, Shari, but she turned down the job "in light of her other professional and personal responsibilities, and in recognition of her confidence in Mr. Moonves."
    • The 92-year-old Redstone's health has been the subject of recent debate, and has faced questions about whether he is still mentally competent enough to run CBS and Viacom (VIA, VIAB), where he remains chairman.
    • CBS +3.5% AH.
    | Wed, Feb. 3, 4:37 PM | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 3:59 PM
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 3:59 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Jan. 22, 8:19 PM
    • A late Friday proxy filing sheds some light on the compensation changes at Viacom (VIA +4.1%, VIAB +3.9%), showing that CEO Philippe Dauman signed a two-year extension that brought a $17M stock award.
    • On Wednesday, the company said it had slashed Dauman's bonus (and cut total comp for Chairman Sumner Redstone by 85%) -- that, in the wake of calls to remove the company's management by activist Eric Jackson of SpringOwl Asset Management, who pressed for heavier cost cutting at the media giant.
    • Jackson says Dauman and COO Tom Dooley have been paid a combined $432M over the past five years.
    • The Dauman renewal, from Jan. 15, 2015, brings his total compensation for 2015 up 22% to $54.15M. The company amended Dauman's contract to extend it to Dec. 31, 2018, including performance-restricted share units.
    • Dauman's base pay stayed near even, at $4M, and his non-equity bonus comp fell 30% to $14M. So aside from the renewal bonus, Dauman's total compensation fell 16% to $37.1M.
    • After hours today: VIA +0.3%; VIAB flat.
    • Previously: Judge orders new medical exam for Sumner Redstone (Jan. 22 2016)
    • Previously: Viacom up 4% as Societe Generale upgrades to Buy (Jan. 22 2016)
    • Previously: Viacom slashes Redstone's pay by 85%, cuts Dauman's bonus (Jan. 20 2016)
    | Fri, Jan. 22, 8:19 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Jan. 22, 6:19 PM
    • A judge has ordered a new medical exam for mogul Sumner Redstone, the latest turn in the ongoing court fight (and succession drama) over the aging billionaire's mental capacity.
    • Superior Court Judge David Cowan has reversed his earlier position, saying that a doctor hired by ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer should get an hour alone to evaluate the overall and mental health of Redstone, chairman of Viacom (VIA +4.1%, VIAB +3.9%) and CBS (CBS +2.5%).
    • For their part, Redstone's attorneys have argued that he receives frequent visits from a doctor and has shown no impairment in tests.
    • Herzer has said Redstone is unable to speak and can't meaningfully engage in discussion about his medical care or other topics. She had filed suit after being expelled from Redstone's house in October and being removed as his healthcare proxy.
    • Previously: Viacom up 4% as Societe Generale upgrades to Buy (Jan. 22 2016)
    • Previously: Viacom slashes Redstone's pay by 85%, cuts Dauman's bonus (Jan. 20 2016)
    • Previously: Shareholder suit presses Viacom, CBS; alleges Redstone is incapacitated (Jan. 19 2016)
    | Fri, Jan. 22, 6:19 PM
  • Fri, Jan. 22, 10:07 AM
    | Fri, Jan. 22, 10:07 AM
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 5:50 PM
    • Something about May 2017 has scheduled movies scattering. Earlier, Disney said it would delay Star Wars: Episode VIII to December 2017 from its original May 26, 2017 date; now Paramount (VIA -1.8%, VIAB -2.5%) has pulled its Terminator sequel off that schedule.
    • The film (with a working title of Terminator 2) was set for May 19, 2017, the weekend before the new Star Wars film was set to bow. Now Paramount will place its Baywatch reboot there instead.
    • The moves together may clear up some action-oriented box-office dollars for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
    • No word yet on Terminator 3, which Paramount had tentatively set for June 2018, or when Terminator 2 might debut.
    • The Terminator films have been largely successful, though last summer's Terminator: Genisys drew just $89.8M domestically, the lowest total for a Terminator film since the 1984 original.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 5:50 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 4:32 PM
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 4:32 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jan. 19, 5:32 PM
    • A shareholder lawsuit is keeping attention on the status of Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone, alleging that he's incapacitated and shouldn't have received millions in compensation from the companies he leads.
    • Viacom (VIA +3.3%, VIAB +4.7%) posted strong gains today as activist investor Eric Jackson of SpringOwl Asset Management posted a detailed call for a leadership shakeup and cost cuts. CBS finished down 1.1%.
    • The suit -- a derivative suit, against the boards of both companies -- alleges that millions of dollars in payments to Redstone amount to "services not rendered" and bad faith by the boards of Viacom and CBS, and that Viacom's board misrepresented Redstone's health in its January 2015 proxy.
    • Viacom says the shareholder suit is without merit and it would fight it vigorously; with regard to Jackson's 99-page presentation, it says it's focused on long-term shareholder value.
    • The 92-year-old Redstone has been the focus of succession questions after a fall lawsuit from an ex-girlfriend challenged his mental competence.
    • Updated: Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has filed papers to quash a subpoena related to the suit filed by Manuela Herzer, Redstone's ex.
    • Previously: Viacom +5.9%, leading market up as activist calls for shakeup (Jan. 19 2016)
    • Previously: Redstone seeks suit dismissal; ex-girlfriend looks to subpoena Dauman (Jan. 05 2016)
    • Previously: Bloomberg: Deal would make Moonves CBS chairman after Redstone (Dec. 22 2015)
    | Tue, Jan. 19, 5:32 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 19, 1:54 PM
    • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS +0.2%) fell out of the top spot in U.S. box office in this, its fifth weekend of release -- yielding the lead to Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, as well as Leonardo DiCaprio.
    • In totals including the Martin Luther King Day holiday, Ride Along 2 (CMCSA +0.3%) drew $41.6M to lead U.S. grosses, followed by The Revenant (FOX +1.1%, FOXA +1.5%) with $39M. The Force Awakens was No. 3 with $32.6M.
    • Paramount (VIA +3.9%, VIAB +4.9%) held down the next two spots on the chart, with new film 13 Hours drawing $19.7M and Daddy's Home pulling $12M.
    • The Force Awakens shed theaters for the first time, but added to its all-time best domestic total, now $858.5M, and became just the fifth film ever to cross the $1B mark in international gross ($1.012B). Its worldwide total comes to $1.871B, good for the third all-time spot behind Titanic's $2.187B.
    • While Nomura estimates $230M to come for The Force Awakens in China (and Stifel laid in a high expectation of $450M), the movie was bumped from a large number of the country's screens to make room for home-grown films -- it's already lost its box office lead there to Boonie Bears 3 -- and may top out at $150M or even less.
    • While eyes were on China, the world's No. 2 film market where The Force Awakens crested $100M, it spent its fifth week at No. 1 in Japan with a cumulative total of more than $74M.
    | Tue, Jan. 19, 1:54 PM | 19 Comments
Company Description
Viacom Inc is an entertainment content company. It connects with audiences in 165 countries and territories and creates television programs, motion pictures, applications, games, consumer products, social media & other entertainment content.
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States