Viacom Tumbles Most Since 2008 as Revenue Misses Estimates

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Viacom Inc., owner of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, plunged the most in almost seven years after posting third-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates.

Viacom dropped 14 percent to $44.10, the biggest one-day decline since October 2008. The stock has lost 41 percent of its value this year.

Sales dropped 11 percent to $3.06 billion in the period ended June 30, New York-based Viacom said Thursday in a statement. That missed the $3.23 billion average of 26 analysts’ estimates tracked by Bloomberg.

The results mark Viacom’s fourth straight decline in U.S. advertising sales. The company, controlled by 92-year-old billionaire Sumner Redstone, has struggled with a drop in viewer ratings and questions about the health of the cable-TV industry. It joined a parade of media companies reporting disappointing results, including Walt Disney Co., raising questions about the industry’s growth.

The S&P 500 Media Index slumped as much as 5.6 percent, following a 6.3 percent decline on Wednesday, which was the biggest drop since August 2011.

At Viacom’s MTV network, viewership is down 22 percent this season, based on Nielsen data. Comedy Central’s audience is off 17 percent.

Viacom has staked future growth on international expansion. The company last week acquired a 50 percent stake in the Prism TV Pvt Ltd., which owns and operates regional entertainment channels in India. It acquired U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 last year. Viacom’s profit excluding some items rose to $1.47 a share, in line with projections.

(An earlier version of the story was corrected to reflect Viacom’s current share price.)

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