Viacom Class B Earnings Call Nuggets: International Growth Outlook and Industry Trends

Viacom, Inc. Class B (NYSE:VIAB) recently reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

International Growth Outlook

Doug Mitchelson – Deutsche Bank: Philippe, with the U.S. outlook gaining visibility, can you refresh the outlook for international growth? I think over the last few years, you’ve emphasized and international margin opportunity and there is a wide variety of growth rates among the various media companies in terms of international cable networks. Where should Viacom shake out looking forward and how do you drive that business?

Philippe Dauman – President and CEO: Our international networks have been hurt this year by the slow environment in Europe. We had negative ad sales growth in the quarter just ended, although we expect that we’ll turn back to positive ad sales growth in this quarter. As we are launching new networks, which we have been doing, and turning certain networks into wholly owned networks, we expect the performance to improve as we go forward. In the meantime, we’re using this opportunity to expand our footprint and really build value for the future. There’s a lot of value there. We’re building very valuable assets, really, across all continents right now.

Doug Mitchelson – Deutsche Bank: Do you see a point where…?

Thomas E. Dooley – COO: And as the foreign markets recover, especially in Southern Europe, I think the group is very well poised to really take advantage of that and put up some very significant growth statistics.

Philippe Dauman – President and CEO: Yeah. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to drive affiliate revenue growth in our international footprint.

Doug Mitchelson – Deutsche Bank: Could you see a point where international growth is actually accretive to the overall growth rate for the division?

Thomas E. Dooley – COO: Absolutely.

Philippe Dauman – President and CEO: Absolutely…

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