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ViacomCBS Q4 Profit Misses Street View; But Revenue Trump Estimates

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ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC) Tuesday reported a profit for the fourth quarter that increased from last year, driven by double digit revenue growth. However, adjusted earnings for quarter failed to meet Wall Street's estimates, while revenues surpassed expectations.

Viacom reported fourth-quarter profit of $2.06 billion or $3.11 per share, up from $810 million or $1.31 per share last year.

On an adjusted basis, earnings for the quarter were $181 million or $0.26 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $0.43 per share for the quarter.

Revenues for the quarter rose 16% to $8.00 billion from $6.87 billion last year, reflecting growth across all revenue types. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $7.51 billion.

Advertising revenues grew 1% in the quarter to $2.63 billion, driven by improved pricing, partially offset by lower political advertising and lower linear impressions. Affiliate revenue rose 2% to $2.11 billion, reflecting higher reverse compensation, expanded distribution and rate increases, partially offset by subscriber declines.

Streaming revenues surged 48% to 1.32 billion. The company said streaming subscription revenue grew 84% year-over-year, reflecting strong subscriber growth from the company's streaming subscription services. Streaming advertising revenue grew 26% year-over-year, driven by growth in advertising on Pluto TV and Paramount+.

The company said it added 10 million Pluto TV global monthly active users to reach over 64 million users.

Theatrical film revenue rose to $39 million from just $4 million. Licensing and other revenue increased 45% to $1.90 billion year-over-year, reflecting a higher volume of licensing, including from the comparison against the impact in 2020 from Covid-related production shutdowns.

"Our success was evident across all lines of business, and spotlighted by streaming, where we achieved our best quarter ever in streaming subscription growth - more than doubling our subscriber additions from last quarter with a record 9.4M additions, expanding our total global streaming subscribers to over 56M. And, to top it off, we saw meaningful acceleration in our global Pluto TV MAUs, to reach over 64M and generate over $1 billion in revenue in the year," said CEO Bob Bakshish.

VIAC closed Tuesday's trading at $35.99, up $0.96 or 2.74%, on the Nasdaq. The stock, however, slipped $0.98 or 2.72% in the after-hours trading.

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