Viacom Profit Rises to $503 Million in Second Quarter

Viacom said Thursday that its second-quarter profit rose 4 percent, boosted by its TV networks, and beat Wall Street predictions.

The New York company, which owns Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, earned $502 million, or $1.13 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. That was up from $478 million, or 96 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Revenue edged up 1 percent to $3.17 billion from $3.14 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a profit of $1.05 per share on $3.19 billion in revenue.

Media networks revenue rose 6 percent to $2.38 billion, helped by high demand from advertisers and distribution partners.

But filmed entertainment revenue fell 12 percent to $831 million.

Viacom Inc. also said Thursday that it's buying Britain's Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd. for 450 million euros (about $757 million), increasing its investment in U.K-produced content.

The commercial public service broadcaster is watched by more than 80 percent of the U.K. population monthly. Viacom said it expects it to complement its pay TV networks.

Its shares finished at $84.97 on Wednesday. Its shares are down more than 3 percent so far this year.