Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone can thank Snooki for a strong quarter. On Friday, the morning after the season premiere of MTV’s Jersey Shore, Viacom reported a 37 percent earnings increase during its third quarter.
The company’s cable networks—including MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central—led the charge by bringing in $2.4 billion in revenue, an increase of 16 percent year over year. And Jersey Shore contributed to a 14 percent increase in ad revenues worldwide and 12 percent in the U.S. However, Philippe Dauman, Viacom's president and CEO, was quick to point out to analysts on a conference call that “even without Jersey Shore on the air, MTV’s ratings increased year over year” with the network boasting four out of the top five rated non-sporting cable telecasts this quarter.
Viacom’s filmed entertainment division, which includes Paramount Pictures, also reported strong quarterly returns with $1.4 billion in revenue, up 13 percent compared to the same period last year. The company attributed this boost to the blockbuster Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which has already earned over $1 billion worldwide.
Despite Thursday’s stock market decline, which saw Viacom's share price drop by 6 percent, the company was still able to report good news to its shareholders: earnings per share were at $0.97 for the quarter, compared to $0.71 a year ago. Viacom reported overall quarterly revenue growth of 15 percent, to $3.8 billion.