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Viacom (Class B) (VIA.B ): Reiterates 3 STARS (hold)
Analyst: Tuna Amobi, CPA, CFA

Viacom posted third-quarter continuing earnings per share of 40 cents, before a 2-cent tax credit, vs. 37 cents, 3 cents shy of our estimate. Cable Networks and TV businesses again were key, and Outdoor was modest positive surprise. But Infinity Radio sharply lagged projections and the industry, likely raising more questions about its future. With the Blockbuster spin-off done, Viacom set an aggressive $8 billion stock buyback program, replacing the current $3 billion mandate. We think buyback execution could provide some catalyst to the shares. Viacom updated its 2004 pro-forma growth outlook to 8% for revenues and 16% for earnings per share.
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