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VIACOM INC CL A (VIA)
Q4 2009 Earnings Call
February 11, 2010 08:30 AM ET
James Bombassei - Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
Sumner M. Redstone - Executive Chairman of the Board
Philippe P. Dauman - President, Chief Executive Officer
Thomas E. Dooley - Chief Administrative Officer and CFO
James W. Barge - Controller and Head of Tax and Treasury
Michael Nathanson – Sanford Bernstein
Imran Khan – J.P. Morgan
Jessica Reif-Cohen – Banc of America
Richard Greenfield – Pali Capital
Jason Bazinet – Citi
David Bank - RBC Capital Markets
David Miller - Caris & Company
Ben Mogil - Thomas Weisel
Michael Morris – UBS
Previous Statements by VIA
» Viacom, Inc. Q4 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
» Viacom, Inc. Q3 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
» Viacom, Inc. F2Q08 (Qtr End 06/30/08) Earnings Call Transcript
Good morning everyone, and thank you for taking the time to join us on our fourth quarter and full year earnings call. Joining me for today’s discussion are Sumner Redstone, our Chairman, Philippe Dauman, our President and CEO, Tom Dooley, our Chief Administrative Officer and CFO, and Jimmy Barge, our Controller and Head of Tax and Treasury.
Please note that in addition to our press release, we have slides containing supplemental information available on our website.
Let me refer you to page number two on 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. Reconcilliations for non-GAAP financial information discussed on this call can be found in our earnings release or on our website.
Before we begin I would like to remind you that in 2010, we will be transitioning to a September fiscal year end. For SEC reporting purposes, we will be filing a 10-K for the nine-month sub-period ended September 30th of this year.
We have added trending schedules to the financial announcement section of our website, which should you with the base year financial information needed to model our new fiscal year.
And now, I will turn the call over to Sumner.
Thank you Jim. Good morning and thank you all for joining us. Obviously, I could not be more delighted to be addressing you today after this morning’s announcement of Viacom’s 2009 fourth quarter and full year results.
Now, I always expect a strong performance from Philippe and his team, but their accomplishments this time far exceeds my expectations. It was a great year that ended on a great note.
I am particularly proud of how Viacom demonstrated the financial foresight, operational discipline, creative energy, can produce superior bottom line results. In today’s economy, few would have expected Viacom’s fourth quarter operating income, adjusted net earnings, and EPS to grow as it did.
That performance and now after this and for the future, and based on the continued strength of our brands, they are based on the evergreen power of best in class assets and they are based on the fact that these brands and assets are managed by a top rated executive team indeed the best in the business.
While there continue to be strong uncertainties on the horizon, we see many reasons for optimism. As the economy picks up speed and various sectors constantly begin to raise their levels of output in ad spending. And we know it will take time, but there is a steady drumbeat of renewal in progress, particularly in the domestic market.
Looking across Viacom, we see the very fruits of that success. We see it at MTV Networks, we see it at BET Networks where both made significant progress in renewing key brands and building audiences.
And at Paramount Pictures, we are making hits and making money, once again sheer top billing. We see it in the scope of our program in the breadth of our multi-platform distribution and you see it in our rock-solid balance sheet that will continue to feel growth, feel growth for the years to come.
Content remains and always remained king. And Viacom is leading the pack and setting the pace as our content focused enterprise. I thank you for your attention.
And now I will turn the call over to Viacom’s President and CEO, my friend, my long-term advisor Philippe Dauman.
Philippe P. Dauman
Thank you very much Sumner and good morning everyone. I am pleased you could join us today. It’s been quite a year. Viacom like many companies face significant challenges, but we emerged stronger financially, strategically and creatively. We did what was necessary to operate successfully in an environment filled with uncertainty and very little visibility, but never deviated from our core focus on content.
We elevated our game on multiple fronts. We strengthened our financial position, restructuring our debt profile to lengthen maturities at very attractive interest rates, increasing our operating free cash flow and expanding our operating margins. We streamlined our organization and found new ways to reduce our overall cost structure on an ongoing basis.
We continue to invest in program, keeping the creative fires burning bright and delivering compelling content that resonates deeply with our target audiences. And as I’ll discuss in a moment, we have a number of new and established hit properties that are breaking through. We secured several long-term affiliate agreements, locking in a substantial portion of our affiliate revenue growth for the next several years.