The past year or so has not been kind to Viacom, with highly public squabbles between lawyers for founder Sumner Redstone, and bloodletting between certain key executives, and far too much dirty washing aired in the world’s business and tabloid press.
The share price had certainly suffered from a wonderful ‘high’ of $88 back in July 2014, to just $31.38 a year ago on February 11th 2016. Remarkably the past year, while there have been the inevitable share price ups and downs ($47 on July 28th and $34.63 on December 12th last year) during 2016, the past few weeks under Bob Bakish’s new stewardship, there has been real progress to $42 on February 6th.
Bakish, speaking ahead of the company’s AGM on Thursday at its Times Square offices, he vowed to address the media giant’s “points of pain” in the coming year, and with a new strategic vision and framework for the years ahead. “Despite all the noise surrounding this company, it’s important to recognise we have an incredibly strong foundation.”
Bakish also emphasised that Thursday’s presentation will include a “strategy for Paramount going forward.” Viacom will unveil its Q1/2017 results, but analysts expect more detail to emerge on MTV’s progress, the as mentioned Paramount studio business and that of Viacom’s international divisions which Bakish was running until his confirmation as company-wide CEO just before Christmas.