Tom Ryan, CEO and President of Paramount Streaming, speaks during LG’s press conference ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 4, 2023.
Patrick T Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
Paramount shares closed Friday up more than 15%, their best day since March 2020, a day after another double-digit rise.
The stock has gained 28.6% since the start of the week, marking its best week since April. However, in 2020, the stock is still down about 18% year-to-date and is heading for its seventh consecutive negative year, its longest annual losing streak.
The media giant released its third-quarter earnings report after the closing bell on Thursday, reporting higher profits and revenue than a year ago.
Its streaming business, which includes Paramount+ and Pluto TV, also posted 38% revenue growth and narrower losses. Paramount+ had a total of 63 million subscribers.
Wall Street analysts liked what they saw from Paramount’s report.
Analysts at Bernstein Research noted that trends were strong in the third quarter and if the company sticks to them, Paramount can expect further earnings growth.
Analysts at Moffett Nathanson Research shared this assessment but remained cautiously optimistic.
“Regardless of how a future bundling deal turns out or not, Paramount+ is moving forward
“In this age, it is a leaner and more efficient platform than we expected,” they wrote.
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Paramount’s positive momentum
The company’s positive momentum follows the successful sale of book publisher Simon & Schuster earlier this week for $1.62 billion. CNBC previously reported that Paramount majority shareholder Shari Redstone was open to a merger or sale of the company at the right price – but market conditions present complicated opportunities for a transformative transaction.
However, Paramount posted losses in its TV division, where advertising revenue fell 14%. Its TV assets include brands such as MTV, Nickelodeon, CBS and Showtime. License and other revenue also fell 7%.
While the company struggled with $60 million in idle costs due to labor strikes in Hollywood, company executives said on the earnings call that they were optimistic the company would get back on its feet with its upcoming plan. The company also does not plan to take action against the sharing of streaming passwords in a similar way to Netflix.
Paramount shares closed up 10% on Thursday amid a rally across the media sector, driven by Roku’s strong third-quarter earnings report. An increase in Roku users is giving consumers more access points to streaming services like Paramount+. Roku shares rose 30% on Thursday.
Other media stocks also rose on Friday, including Roku and Disney. Warner Bros. Discovery – which reports earnings next week – also posted higher shares on Friday.
–CNBC’s Christopher Hayes contributed to this report.
Source : www.cnbc.com