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Viacom Posts Strong Fourth Qtr. - Broadcasting & Cable

Viacom Posts Strong Fourth Qtr.

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Viacom reported a 16% increase in fourth-quarter net earnings to $559.5 million on a 19% spike in revenue, which rose to $4.25 billion, driven by sharp gains in both its media-networks and filmed-entertainment divisions.

For the full year, the company's revenues rose 18% to $13.42 billion, yielding net income of $1.84 billion, a 15% gain. For the three-year period from 2008-10, Viacom says it expects to deliver low-double-digit growth in diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations, based on EPS of $2.36 in 2007.

Revenue in the media-networks segment—which includes MTV Networks, BET, Nickelodeon, TV Land and Comedy Central—rose 18% to $2.45 billion for the quarter, producing a 15% increase in operating income. For the full year, the segment's revenues climbed to $8.1 billion, a 12% gain.

The filmed-entertainment division produced 19% and 28% increases in revenues for the quarter and full year, respectively.

Said President and CEO Philippe Dauman in a statement: "Our investments in original programming paid off, driving ratings gains and putting us in a strong position to grow advertising revenues. By increasing our capability and reach in the digital arena, we comfortably surpassed our goal of generating $500 million in digital revenues for the year."

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