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Viacom Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

November 03, 2009 | About:
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10qk

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Viacom Inc. (VIA) filed Quarterly Report for the period ended 2009-09-30.

Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company whose family of prominent and respected brands includes the multiplatform properties of MTV Networks BET Networks Paramount Pictures Paramount Home Entertainment and DreamWorks. MTV Networks a unit of Viacom is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than three hundred interactive properties worldwide including online broadband wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements joint ventures and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide. Viacom Inc. has a market cap of $1.71 billion; its shares were traded at around $29.77 with a P/E ratio of 14.2 and P/S ratio of 0.1.

Highlight of Business Operations:

Revenues decreased $91 million, or 3%, to $3.317 billion in the third quarter of 2009. Revenues decreased $861 million, or 8%, to $9.521 billion in the nine months ended September 30, 2009. The following table presents our revenues by component:

In the fourth quarter of 2008, to better align our organization and cost structure with changing economic conditions, we undertook a strategic review of our businesses, which resulted in $454 million of restructuring and other charges. As a result of these initiatives, we expect to save approximately $200 million in 2009. Approximately half of the savings result from the restructuring charges which were principally comprised of workforce reductions and will be realized via lower compensation costs primarily included as a component of selling, general and administrative expenses. We expect to continue to experience similar levels of savings from the headcount reductions in future years, subject to the performance of our operations which may require further changes to our headcount, either increases or decreases, to effectively and efficiently manage our operations. In 2009, our cash savings are partially offset by remaining severance payments to be made pursuant to our restructuring plan. With respect to the other charges, the savings are primarily related to reduced programming amortization attributable to abandoned programming included as a component of operating expenses, and will diminish ratably through 2011. Despite these savings, overall programming expenses are likely to grow in the future as we continue to invest in programming in the normal course of business.

During the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2009, our total expense reduction of $186 million and $625 million, respectively, includes approximately $50 million and $150 million, respectively, in cost savings related to these initiatives. During the second quarter of 2009, we took new actions resulting in severance charges of $16 million in the Media Networks segment and $17 million in the Filmed Entertainment segment. We will continue to evaluate the impact of current and future economic conditions on our various businesses and consider alternatives which, if undertaken, could result in future restructuring charges.

Operating expenses decreased $155 million, or 8%, to $1.790 billion in the third quarter of 2009. Distribution and other costs decreased $86 million, or 12%, to $610 million due to lower print and advertising expenses in the Filmed Entertainment segment, partially offset by higher Rock Band costs related to the September 2009 release of The Beatles: Rock Band. Production and programming expenses decreased $69 million, or 6%, to $1.180 billion principally due to lower participation costs in 2009 compared with the prior years costs associated with Marvels Iron Man partially offset by higher amortization of film costs.

Operating expenses decreased $511 million, or 9%, to $5.481 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2009. Distribution and other costs decreased $311 million, or 13%, to $2.078 billion driven by the reduced number of theatrical releases and lower home entertainment expenses associated with the decline in revenues in the Filmed Entertainment segment as well as lower Rock Band costs. Production and programming expenses decreased $200 million, or 6%, to $3.403 billion due to lower participation costs associated with third-party distribution arrangements, partially offset by higher amortization of film costs, including costs related to the theatrical release of Imagine That. Our continued investment in programming was substantially offset by reduced amortization attributable to the programming abandoned in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Depreciation and amortization decreased $12 million and $39 million for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2009, respectively. The decrease in the quarter principally reflects lower capital spending, while the nine months is due primarily to lower capital lease depreciation expense resulting from transponder lease expirations in the Media Networks segment, as well as the impact of decreased capital spending.

Read the The complete ReportVIA is in the portfolios of Donald Yacktman of Yacktman Asset Management Co., Donald Yacktman of Yacktman Asset Management Co..

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