Viacom shares fall as Stewart says goodbye

 
Lauren Fedor
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SHARES in American media giant Viacom plummeted by as much as 18 per cent yesterday, to a four-year low, after the company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly revenues for the second quarter.

Viacom said that its bottom line had suffered at the hands of lower advertising revenue from its cable television business, as viewers “cut the cord” in favour of online streaming services.

The results came on the same day that Viacom lost the star of one of its most-popular cable television programmes, the Daily Show.

Comedian Jon Stewart made his final appearance on the satirical news show last night. When Stewart announced his departure earlier this year, shares dipped, handing Viacom a $350m (£226m) hit.

But the disappointing results yesterday only added fuel to the fire of investor concerns over the American cable industry after underwhelming numbers this week from Walt Disney, Twenty-First Century Fox, Discovery Communications and Time Warner.

Shares of Disney, Fox, Discovery and Time Warner also fell yesterday for the second straight day.

Viacom said that its advertising revenue had fallen nine per cent in its US cable business in the second quarter, the fourth straight quarter of decline, which the company said was due in part to lower Nielsen ratings.

Elsewhere, revenue from Viacom’s movie studio business, which includes Paramount Pictures, fell 44 per cent to $479m.