NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. reported an unexpected narrow second-quarter profit Thursday, as a top company executive declared the slowdown in advertising that has hurt the media industry over the last year has bottomed out.|
The company, whose holdings include the rights to the hit TV show "Survivor" on its CBS network, as well as cable and publishing properties, earned net income of $16.7 million, or 1 cent a diluted share, better than the breakeven result forecast by earnings tracker First Call. A year earlier, the company earned $9 million, or 1 cent a share, excluding a merger-related charge of $505 million, or 42 cents a share, on an after-tax basis.
Revenue grew 18 percent to $5.7 billion from $4.9 billion a year earlier, with both revenue and operating profit gains across its various units.
Viacom (VIA.B: up $3.02 to $49.27, Research, Estimates) President Mel Karmazin told analysts during a conference call that "the advertising market has bottomed. Things are definitely getting better."
The company's stock jumped more than $3 Thursday morning following Karmazin's remarks.
Revenue at its television unit, which includes CBS, UPN and Paramount Television, which produces series for a number of networks, rose 33 percent to $1.6 billion as CBS, led by its Thursday night hits "Survivor" and "CSI", led the May ratings. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization more than doubled to $360.8 million from $164.5 million.
Its Infinity unit, which includes radio stations and outdoor advertising, saw revenue rise 47 percent to $985.4 billion, while its cable networks, including MTV and Nickelodeon, saw revenue rise 10 percent to $1.1 billion.
The company's video unit, which includes the Blockbuster video rental chain, saw revenue edge up 1 percent to $1.2 billion, while publishing, which includes Simon & Schuster, saw revenue up 12 percent to $149 million.