Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Peter Wahlstrom, CFA

Bulls Say

Viacom owns a number of well-known cable networks, including MTV, Nickelodeon, and BET, which are very popular with traditionally hard-to-reach audiences--teens, children, and African-Americans.
Viacom's Paramount Pictures holds the rights to thousands of films, including some of the most popular ever made. As media formats evolve, the firm can make money from these films in different formats.
About one third of cable network revenue comes from affiliate fees, which provides some earnings stability for Viacom. Read more 

Bears Say

The convergence of media and technology is calling many media business models into question. If Viacom can't adapt to the changing environment, its shareholders could suffer.
All too often, media executives have chased deals that made little economic sense. If Viacom uses its balance sheet for value-destroying deals, shareholder returns will be poor.
Developing enticing programming can be hit or miss, especially content aimed at MTV's young demographic, whose preferences can be fickle. Read more 

Management

Viacom's stewardship of shareholder capital is standard. Chairman Sumner Redstone controls Viacom through ownership of Class A shares--representing a majority of the outstanding voting shares--held by his family-owned National Amusements. (The more-liquid   Read more 

Profile

Viacom is a global media company with several leading cable network properties, including Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, Country Music Television, and Spike   Read more 

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