Viacom (VIAB) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday. They currently have $37.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Viacom’s effort to revive its fortunes is driving its shares, which have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. The company is benefiting from increasing household subscriber growth in international business, driven by new channel launches in the United Kingdom and Poland. Additionally, Turnaround in Paramount and MTV divisions, expanding digital presence and international strength are key positives. The increase in audience for the flagship brands is another positive. Moreover, the operational efficiency of the company is reflected in its cost savings, which is anticipated to drive bottom-line growth. However, declining domestic affiliate and advertisement revenues remains a major concern.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. B. Riley raised Viacom from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the company from $34.00 to $39.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. BidaskClub raised Viacom from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Sunday, September 23rd. Macquarie raised Viacom from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and lifted their target price for the company from $34.00 to $37.00 in a report on Thursday, September 20th. TheStreet raised Viacom from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Friday, August 31st. Finally, ValuEngine raised Viacom from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $34.90.

Viacom stock traded up $0.20 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $31.39. The stock had a trading volume of 3,306,919 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,630,018. Viacom has a 12 month low of $22.13 and a 12 month high of $35.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.33, a P/E/G ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 1.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.42, a quick ratio of 1.41 and a current ratio of 1.69.

Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 9th. The company reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.11. Viacom had a return on equity of 23.53% and a net margin of 15.65%. The business had revenue of $3.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.27 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.17 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Viacom will post 4.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th were paid a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. Viacom’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.22%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VIAB. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Viacom in the first quarter worth $126,000. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Viacom by 36,808.3% in the second quarter. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 4,429 shares of the company’s stock worth $134,000 after acquiring an additional 4,417 shares during the last quarter. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Viacom in the first quarter worth $197,000. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of Viacom in the second quarter worth $227,000. Finally, Intact Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Viacom in the second quarter worth $238,000. 79.02% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Viacom

Viacom, Inc operates media brands that create entertainment content worldwide. The company creates television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, games, consumer products, podcasts, live events, and social media experiences. It operates through two segments, Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment.

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