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Viacom beats earning estimates on strong box office sales

Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, beat second-quarter earning estimates on strong box-office sales even as it saw revenue from shows decline on continued cord cutting.

For the three months ended March 31, Viacom’s net income rose 41.4 percent to $376 million, or 93 cents a share. Excluding items, the company earned 95 cents a share, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations for 80 cents a share.

The earnings-per-share beat was offset, however, by a 6 percent drop in revenue to $2.27 billion, falling short of estimates for $3.06 billion.

The company cited shrinking distribution fees for the revenue miss as it transitions content and advertising beyond pay-TV platforms.

Viacom boss Bob Bakish has been focused on pushing into digital and mobile viewing platforms to offset cord cutting.

The company recently acquired PlutoTV, an ad-free, live TV web streamer for $340 million to better compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney and Amazon.

Despite mixed results, investors sent to Class A shares of the stock up 2.6 percent to $29.25 as Bakish touted the box-office success of its Paramount Pictures division, another area of focus under his leadership.

Bakish pointed investors to recent hits like the Transformers movie spin-off, “Bumblebee” and romantic comedy “What Men Want,” which according to Box Office Mojo, earned $467 million and $72 million, respectively.

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