VIACOM EARNINGS SHOW COMPANY ACQUISITIONS ARE "ON TRACK"
Viacom Inc.'s earnings reflect a "seven-fold rise" in
earnings per share for the third quarter. The results include
contributions for the first time from recently acquired Paramount
Communications, but do not yet include earnings from the merger
with Blockbuster Entertainment or the sale of Madison Square
Garden. Viacom President Frank Biondi said Blockbuster earnings
seem "tremendously promising." Blockbuster sales were up 42% by
September. Viacom's net earnings increased to $327.3M from
$30.9M, while sales were up $2.1B. Cable profits fell 33% from
last year (Tony Jackson, FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/15). "The results
were driven by the strong performance" of MTV and Paramount movie
hits. However, analysts are getting "impatient" for Viacom to
complete the sale of its cable TV systems to InterMedia Partners
and Madison Square Garden to the ITT/ Cablevision partnership.
Viacom shares closed at $39.75, up $.87 1/2 (Eben Shapiro, WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 11/15).
VIACOM TECHNOLOGY: Simon & Schuster, Viacom's publishing
division, plans to announce an all-electronic publishing imprint
named Macmillan Digital USA. The new imprint will produce and
distribute reference, travel and computer books in electronic
format, including CD-ROMs, materials for on-line services and the
Internet. Topics will include sports ( WALL STREET JOURNAL,