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ViacomCBS (VIAC) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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ViacomCBS (VIAC - Free Report) is slated to report third-quarter 2020 results on Nov 6.

Markedly, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for third-quarter earnings has been revised 14.9% upward to 77 cents per share over the past 30 days, implying a decline of 19% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.

Moreover, the consensus mark for sales is pegged at $6 billion, suggesting growth of 82.1% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.

Notably, in the trailing four quarters, the company’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three quarters but missed the same once, the average surprise being 7.1%.

ViacomCBS Inc. Price and EPS Surprise


ViacomCBS Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

ViacomCBS Inc. price-eps-surprise | ViacomCBS Inc. Quote


Let’s see how things shaped up prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider

ViacomCBS’ third-quarter results are expected to reflect an improving ad-spending environment, driven by return of live sports globally. Notably, advertising revenues accounted for 30.7% of the company’s top line in the second quarter of 2020.

However, film revenues are expected to have taken a hit in the third quarter due to the closure of movie theaters globally amid the coronavirus pandemic. Markedly, the company doesn’t expect to release any new movies until theaters reopen. It has also experienced production delays in television and film programming. This is expected to negatively impact content-licensing revenues in the to-be-reported quarter.

Nevertheless, a solid portfolio of streaming services (both advertising and subscription-based offerings) including CBS All Access, Showtime OTT, Pluto TV, Noggin and BET+, is expected to have bumped up viewership amid lockdowns and shelter-in-place guidelines.

Markedly, Pluto TV expanded distribution in the United States and internationally with XBOX, Roku and Verizon in April, and TiVo in May. Moreover, Pluto TV entered 17 Latin American markets and achieved robust adoption driven by solid content.

Pluto TV’s domestic monthly active users were 26.5 million, up 61% year over year in the second quarter. The platform’s total global MAUs reached 33 million. Pluto TV’s momentum is expected to have continued in the to-be-reported quarter.

Key Q3 Developments

On Sep 14, ViacomCBS announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Red Ventures, a portfolio of digital brands to sell CNET Media Group for $500 million.

Moreover, on Sep 15, the company announced that its subscription-based video on-demand and live-streaming service, CBS All Access, will be rebranded as Paramount+ in early 2021.

What Our Model Suggests

Per the Zacks model, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat.

ViacomCBS has an Earnings ESP of +8.23% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are a few companies besides ViacomCBS worth considering as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings in their upcoming releases:

TEGNA (TGNA - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +15.39% and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Lionsgate (LGF.A - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +45.00% and is #2 Ranked.

Glu Mobile has an Earnings ESP of +2.08% and a Zacks Rank of 3.

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