Shares of ViacomCBS Inc.
surged 2.9% in premarket trading Thursday, after the media and entertainment company reported first-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations, boosted by a 65% jump in streaming revenue. Net income rose to $911 million, or $1.44 a share, from $516 million, or 84 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.52 from $1.12, to beat the FactSet consensus of $1.23. Revenue grew 14% to $7.41 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $7.32 billion. Streaming revenue rose 65% to $816 million, with global streaming subscribers increasing 20% to 36 million. On the company’s Paramount+ streaming platform, the biggest drivers of subscription sign ups were live sports and specials, as well as kids content. TV Entertainment revenue rose 19% to $3.51 billion, cable network revenue grew 14% to $3.26 billion and filmed entertainment revenue rose 23% to $997 million. ViacomCBS’s stock has tumbled 27.7% over the past three months but has gained 4.9% year to date, while the S&P 500
has tacked on 11.0% this year.