Viacom Inc. (VIAB)

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Viacom (VIAB)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

November 15, 2012 8:30 am ET


James Bombassei - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Sumner M. Redstone - Founder and Executive Chairman

Philippe P. Dauman - Chief Executive Officer, President and Member of The Board of Directors

James W. Barge - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Tax & Treasury

Thomas E. Dooley - Chief Operating Officer, Senior Executive Vice President and Director


Anthony J. DiClemente - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Michael Nathanson - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Douglas D. Mitchelson - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Richard Greenfield - BTIG, LLC, Research Division

Brian W. Wieser - Pivotal Research Group LLC

Barton E. Crockett - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Tuna N. Amobi - S&P Equity Research

Marci Ryvicker - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Alexia S. Quadrani - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division



Good day, and welcome everyone to the Viacom Fiscal Year Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Release Teleconference. Today's call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, Mr. Jim Bombassei. Please go ahead, sir.

James Bombassei

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for taking the time to join us for our earnings call for the quarter and fiscal year ended September 30. Joining me for today's discussion are Sumner Redstone, our Chairman; Philippe Dauman, our President and CEO; Tom Dooley, our Chief Operating Officer; and Jimmy Barge, our Chief Financial Officer.

Please note that in addition to our press release, we have slides and trending schedules containing supplemental information available on our website. I want to refer you to Page #2 in the web presentation and remind you that certain statements made on this call are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in more detail in our filings with the SEC. Reconciliations for non-GAAP financial information discussed on this call can be found in our earnings release or on our website.

And now I'll turn the call over to Sumner.

Sumner M. Redstone

Thank you, Jim. Thank you, all, for being with us this morning. I'm really pleased to join our leadership team to report Viacom's financial results. Our shareholders once more again benefit from our relentless focus on producing great content, operating efficiently and maximizing returns to shareholders in every single environment. As our industry continues to ever more rapidly evolve, this obsessive focus will separate Viacom from its peers and help ensure our continued leadership and many, many years in our success.

The fact of the matter is that Viacom has always been in the reinvention business. Our cable networks continue to innovate and strengthen their connections with new fans on new programs year after year. And our motion picture operations continue to bring innovative filmed entertainment to more people on more screens in more places than ever before.

Of course, the man at the center of this success is my friend Philippe Dauman. Philippe provides extraordinary leadership to Viacom's outstanding management team, and in fact, he has been at my side, creating all that I have built over the past 25 years. And I know, I'm confident he will continue to provide the same strategic insight and operating skill that will ensure Viacom's success for many, many years to come. He, in fact, is my most trusted advisor who understands my vision and has the eye as well as [ph] ability to see it through.

I'm proud to turn the call over to my forever friend, Viacom's CEO. I often refer to him as a genius and as the wisest man I ever met, and the reason is that Philippe has operated Viacom in a truly fantastically successful manner. So here – it's yours, Philippe, take it over.

Philippe P. Dauman

Thank you, Sumner. I really appreciate it, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today.

We know that many of you on the call today, like many of us here at Viacom, live, work or have loved ones in areas enduring the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. We hope that you and your families were able to weather the storm and return to the normal rhythm of life that we too often take for granted. For those still trying to rebuild, we are with you. Viacom remains committed to recovery efforts, whether it's our corporate support of the American Red Cross and other relief organizations or the initiatives of our individual brands, including MTV's Restore the Shore textathon tonight. And we thank our employees who continue to support the recovery through the company and their own personal efforts.

Let's move into the discussion of our September quarter and Viacom's 2012 fiscal year. It was a year in which the company achieved success in several key areas of strategic focus even amidst challenges. Our diverse brands continue to engage and entertain audiences on every platform throughout the world. We're investing consistently in content to ensure that those brands remain vibrant, strong and well positioned to attract greater viewership as audiences evolve and measurement improves. Those investments, along with key organizational changes, are yielding progress at Nickelodeon and our other networks.

We're aggressively pursuing every sensible opportunity to monetize our Media Networks, both through advertising and distribution. For the fiscal year, we generated double-digit growth in affiliate revenue as we captured substantial value for our content with existing and emerging distributors alike. We see fees from traditional and emerging distribution platforms as an important and consistent area of growth well into the future.

We're also creating ever-greater opportunities for our content internationally, where we're fortifying the position of our core brands in Nickelodeon and MTV, expanding with COMEDY and the Paramount Channel and building our consumer products business. This is another big opportunity for future growth where Viacom is extremely well positioned. In Filmed Entertainment, Paramount Pictures enters fiscal 2013 with a remarkable slate, which will see the return of key tentpole franchises such as Star Trek and the launch of new ones, including World War Z.

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