This story was written by Joseph Weisenthal.
Viacom (NYSE: VIA), parent of MTV and Rock Band, reported Q2 revenue of $3.85 billion a 21 percent increase from $3.18 billion in the year-ago quarter. The top line appears well ahead of Wall St. estimates of $3.55 billion. Operating income grew 13 percent to $792 million from $702 million a year ago. EPS of $.64 per share was again well ahead of analyst estimates of $.58-$.59 per share. The growth drivers: The Media Networks business was up 11 percent to $2.13 billion, while the filmed entertainment unit soared, growing 35 percent to $1.77 billion. Ancillary revenues, primarily driven by Rock Band, were up 62 percent to $307 million. While the economy and its effect on cable network advertising has been a concern, the comment from CEO Philippe Dauman is that the company was able to overcome economic headwinds, in part due to the multiple revenue streams. The Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) film Kung Fu Panda didn't hurt either. We'll look for more color on the economy on the call, and a host of issues on the call. For guidance, the company is calling for EPS growth in the low double digits.
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By Joseph Weisenthal