‘Dark of the Moon’ a Viacom transformer

Conglom's net income triples to $576 million

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” set Viacom on fire last quarter as net income tripled to $576 million.

Revenue for Viacom’s fourth quarter ended in September surged 22% to $4.05 billion.

Profits for filmed entertainment alone, led by Paramount, grew to $185 million from $52 million — up 250%. Division revenue jumped 46% to $1.8 billion, principally on the shoulders of “Transformers” in theatrical and homevideo markets, as well as higher ancillary revenues from digital distribution.

Viacom’s other core biz, media networks, led by MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET, saw profits rise 10% to $958 million and revenue grow 8% to $2.3 billion.

The uptick came from a 7% increase in advertising revenue and 11% growth in worldwide affiliate fees.

Both worldwide and domestic advertising revenues rose 7% in the quarter. Worldwide affiliate revenues increased 11% to $883 million, driven largely by rate increases.

CEO Philippe Dauman cited “consistent investment in innovative programming at our marquee media networks.”

He said the studio “is benefiting from a disciplined franchise-centric approach that has produced an unprecedented number of hits in the domestic and international box office.”

“Our financial position is as strong as it has ever been, which allows us to continue to invest in the growth of our businesses, including new branded television networks in the U.S. and internationally, and Paramount’s recently launched animation label,” he added.

Viacom also announced a major expansion of its stock repurchase plan to $10 billion from $4 billion.