February 2, 2012 / 12:47 PM / 7 years ago

Viacom profit beats on higher cable fees

(Reuters) - Viacom Inc’s (VIAB.O) profit beat Wall Street forecasts on Thursday helped by a double-digit growth in fees paid by cable, satellite and phone companies for its stable of networks, including MTV and Nickelodeon.

Fiscal-first-quarter net income from continuing operations fell 5 percent to $591 million from $620 million in the year-ago quarter. But earnings per share rose 4 percent to $1.06 following an aggressive share buyback during the period.

Analysts on average had been expecting profit to come in at $1.05 according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $3.95 billion.

“Despite short term softness in the overall ad markets, Viacom’s quarterly results benefited from strong affiliate fee revenue growth,” said Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman in a statement.

Viacom spent $700 million buying back some 16.2 million shares during the quarter.

Reporting By Yinka Adegoke in New York; Editing by Derek Caney

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