Viacom reports lower Q2 results

Media conglomerate Viacom, which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, reported slightly lower second-quarter results following a tax gain in the year-ago period, an Associated Press report said.

Results from its movie business rose, the report added.

The Associated Press report said higher DVD sales and box office receipts led to a 20% gain in revenues from movies, and Viacom cited several theatrical hits in the quarter, including 'Blades of Glory,' 'Disturbia' and distribution of 'Shrek the Third' from DreamWorks Animation.

'Tranformers,' the company's big summer movie, opened in early July just after the second quarter had closed, but Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement he was hopeful the movie would become a new 'franchise property.'

The Associated Press reports said Viacom, which also owns Comedy Central, BET and VH1, earned $434 million in the three months ending in June, versus $437.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding a number of special items in both periods, including a tax benefit in the year-ago period and a $94 million gain from the sale of MTV Networks' investment in Russia in the latest period, the report said.

The latest results also included a $22 million charge to write off Viacom's investment in Amp'd Mobile, which has filed for bankruptcy, the report said.

Net results for both periods also included income from Famous Music, a music publishing company that Viacom recently sold for $370 million. Those results are now classified as discontinued operations.

Total revenues rose 13% to $3.19 billion. Movie revenues grew 20% while earnings from movies jumped to $21.4 million from $4.8 million; cable network revenues rose 10% and cable earnings rose 3% to $734.2 million.