Thursday, May 11, 2006

Viacom desperately needs to fix Paramount

Viacom reported a nearly 10% drop in 1st quarter earnings due to higher interest expenses, continued weakness at its Hollywood movie studio and a fall in advertising in its German cable business.

But it's core challenge is getting it's movie studio, Paramount, delivering again. For Viacom's cable properties, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon are performing strongly (other than a short term blip in their German unit).

It is Paramount that continues to drag overall performance down. And now that Viacom themselves say that the integration of recently acquired DreamWorks is complete - they have no more excuses. They have to get movies out that can really deliver and the recently launched Mission Impossible 3 does not look like it will cut the mustard.

Viacom say they have a healthy roster of new releases coming out - let's hope they perform or investors may get jittery about the solidity and reason behind the company's recent split from CBS!

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