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Earnings Preview: Viacom sees Q4 domestic affiliate revenue up double digits

Viacom (VIA, VIA.B) is expected to report Q4 earnings before the market open on Thursday, November 15 with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET. Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.17 on revenue of $3.42B. The consensus range is $1.11-$1.26 for EPS, and $3.19B-$4.18B for revenue, according to First Call. The company reported Q3 results that missed consensus estimates, and said Filmed Entertainment revenue declined 29% and Media Networks revenue declined 5%. The company forecast Q4 domestic affiliate revenue up double digits, and said Q4 would be impacted by DirecTV's (DTV) rate increase and blackout period. Additionally, Viacom said it expected to purchase $700M of stock in Q4 and $2.8B of stock for FY12. During the quarter, the company's MTV unit said it would cancel reality show "Jersey Shore" after its sixth season airs, and its Nickelodeon unit pushed out animation chief Brown Johnson. Viacom's Paramount announced a home media distribution deal with Warner Bros. (TWX) and the company expanded its content partnership with Hulu. The Wall Street Journal recently said MTV named Susanne Daniels as its new president of programming. As for its earnings, RBC Capital doesn't expect Viacom to report significantly lower than expected results in coming years and the firm thinks the stock's valuation is attractive. Bernstein downgraded Viacom to Underperform from Market Perform last month as the firm expects MTV to drop double digits in FY13 while Nickelodeon's ratings may not improve and affiliate fee growth may be lackluster.