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No. of Recommendations: 1

Viacom (VIA.B ): Maintains 5 STARS (buy)
Analyst: Tuna Amobi

Before a $1.3 billion FAS 42 charge, Viacom posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 36 cents, vs. 37 cents, in line with S&P's and Street estimates. Revenues grew 11% and pro forma EBITDA 7%, driven mainly by cable networks ad/affiliate and filmed entertainment revenues, and partly offset by declines at the TV station group, Infinity Radio, and Blockbuster. After a 1.3 billion fourth-quarter goodwill write-off, Viacom's board approved a plan for a tax-free Blockbuster split-off. Viacome reiterated the 2004 outlook of a 5% to 7% increase in revenues and 13% to 15% earnings per share growth.
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