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Stock Analyst Update

ViacomCBS Posts In-Line Q2 as Streaming Momentum Builds

We maintain our narrow-moat rating and fair value estimate.

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ViacomCBS reported in-line second-quarter revenue, and EBITDA met FactSet consensus expectations. Top-line growth of 8% was driven by the rebound in advertising, the return of live sports, and continued streaming growth. The firm’s streaming platforms posted a strong quarter both in terms of new subscribers and monetization. ViacomCBS also announced a distribution deal with Sky to launch Paramount+ in 2022 in its Western European markets. We are maintaining our narrow moat rating and $61 fair value estimate.

Global streaming subscribers increased by 6.5 million during the quarter to 42.4 million, and Pluto, a free platform, added 2.8 million monthly active users to end the quarter at 52.3 million. The recent results and the Sky agreement reinforce our view that the long-term guidance of 65-75 million streaming subscribers by 2024 is very conservative. While Paramount+ is only available in 25 markets, we expect much wider distribution by 2024, making the high-end target of another 33 million net adds seem very modest.

Streaming revenue exploded, up 98%, as ad revenue bounced back at Pluto and the smaller streaming platforms like Showtime and BET+ continued to grow their subscriber bases. Streaming subscription revenue improved to $481 million, up 82% year over year and subscription average revenue per user increased 4% sequentially. On the ad side, streaming revenue jumped by 102% to $502 million as Pluto continues to improve engagement with domestic time watched per MAU up 45% in the quarter. The June launch of Paramount+ Essential, a lower priced ad-supported tier, should help boost advertising growth.

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Neil Macker does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.