Shares of media giant Paramount Global tumbled in early trading Thursday after the company missed earnings targets and told investors profitability in its crucial streaming business would likely not take place until 2024.
During a call with investors Thursday, executives from Paramount Global said they expected advertising, which has been crimped in recent months by recession fears and a roiled stock market, to improve in the second half of the year. They also suggested the merger of Showtime and Paramount+ would help cut expenses in content and on staffing.
Class B shares of Paramount Global in recent trading were off 5.66%, or $1.39 a share, falling to $23.15 per share from Wednesday’s closing of $24.54.
The company said it added 9.9 million subscribers to its Paramount+ streaming hub in the period and saw a new cohort of users come to its free, ad-supporters streaming venue Pluto. But those gains could not overcome a 93% decline in operating income., or a 7% decline in revenue among the company’s biggest business, its traditional TV networks. Paramount Global said the company swung to a loss, compared with a sizable profit in the year-earlier period.
Paramount Global said revenue fell 7% in the period at its traditional TV operations, declining to $5.88 billion compared with approximately $6.3 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Advertising revenue in the sector fell 7% and revenue from affiliate fees was off 4%. The company cited shrinking linear audiences and subscriptions to cable and satellite distributors as some of the factors in the results.