Paramount Global shares slide as results miss and TV revenue falls

Earnings

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Tom Cruise in “Top Gun: Maverick”
Source: Paramount

Paramount Global on Wednesday reported $6.92 billion in revenue for its third quarter, an increase of 5% year-over-year. Yet the company’s results missed expectations as it suffered from cord cutting and a drop in advertising revenue.

Here’s what the company reported compared with analysts’ expectations, according to Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted EPS: 39 cents, vs 43 cents expected
  • Revenue: $6.92 billion, vs $7.01 billion expected

Paramount said revenue for its TV media segment – which includes broadcast network CBS and cable-TV channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon and premium network Showtime – was down 5% to about $4.9 billion compared to the previous quarter as pay-TV subscriber numbers declined.

Paramount shares were down about 11% in premarket trading.

Advertising revenue for the segment also dropped, a sign that macroeconomic headwinds are beginning to hit. Paramount said advertising revenue for its TV networks was down 3% to about $1.9 billion.

Over the summer, Paramount warned that it began to feel a slowdown in the advertising market.

The company noted it also restructured some of its international affiliate TV agreements during the quarter, which shifted revenue from pay-TV services to streaming.

The company’s direct-to-consumer streaming segment performed better, however. Paramount+, the company’s answer to premium subscription services like Netflix and Disney+, added 4.6 million subscribers, bringing its total to 46 million customers. Paramount+ also lost 1.9 million subscribers during the quarter as SkyShowtime, its joint venture with Comcast in Europe, launched in the Nordics and replaced Paramount+.

Paramount+’s subscriber growth was driven by sports, particularly the NFL and international soccer, as well as the launch of its partnership with Walmart+. The company also announced Wednesday that its blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” would hit Paramount+ by the end of the year.

Meanwhile Pluto TV, the company’s free, ad-supported streaming service, reached 72 million monthly active users globally and grew its total viewing hours by double digits, the company said. On Tuesday, Fox Corp. reported that its Pluto competitor, Tubi, was a bright spot for the company, with revenue and advertising growing significantly for the service.

Disclosure: CNBC is owned by Comcast.

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