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ViacomCBS Q4 Profit Beat Street View

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ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC) Wednesday reported a profit for the fourth quarter that trumped Wall Street's estimates as revenues grew 3%, but fell short of expectations.

Viacom reported fourth-quarter profit of $810 million or $1.31 per share, compared to a loss of $258 million or $0.42 per share last year.

On an adjusted basis, earnings for the quarter were $645 million or $1.04 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $1.02 per share for the quarter.

Revenues for the quarter rose 3% to $6.87 billion from $6.66 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $6.88 billion.

Advertising revenues grew 4% in the quarter to $3.15 billion, while affiliate revenue rose 13% to $2.41 billion. The company said affiliate revenues were driven by strong growth in streaming subscription revenue, higher reverse compensation and retransmission fees, as well as expanded distribution.

Content licensing revenue decreased 3% year-over-year, reflecting a lower volume of licensing due to COVID-related production delays. Theatrical film revenue plunged 97% to just $4 million as theaters remained closed due to the pandemic.

"In Q4, despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, we finished the year with strong advertising and affiliate results that demonstrate the strength of our core businesses and achieved incredible growth across our linked streaming ecosystem, reaching nearly 30 million global subscribers and over 43 million Pluto TV global MAUs."

Pluto TV has 43 million monthly active users globally, and 30.1 million domestically.

VIAC closed Wednesday's trading at $65.60, up $1.23 or 1.91%, on the Nasdaq. The stock further gained $0.60 or 0.91% in the after-hours trading.

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