Tom Ryan, CEO and President of Paramount Streaming, speaks during the LG press conference ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 4, 2023.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
Paramount stock closed more than 15% higher Friday, its best day since March 2020, a day after posting another double-digit gain.
The stock was up 28.6% week-to-date, in line for its best week since April . 2020However, the stock is still down about 18% year-to-date, heading for its seventh negative year in a row, its longest yearly losing streak.
The media giant released its third quarter earnings report after the closing bell Thursday, posting higher profit and revenue from a year earlier.
Its streaming business, which includes Paramount+ and Pluto TV, also reported 38% growth in revenue and narrower losses. Paramount+ posted a total of 63 million subscribers.
Wall Street analysts liked what they saw from Paramount’s report.
Bernstein Research analysts noted that the trends in the third quarter were strong, and if the company keeps them up, Paramount can expect more earnings growth.
Moffett Nathanson Research analysts echoed that sentiment while remaining cautiously optimistic.
“Regardless of how any future bundling deal does or does not play out, Paramount+ is moving into
this age as a leaner and more efficient platform than we had anticipated,” they wrote.
Paramount’s positive momentum
The company’s positive momentum comes on the heels of a successful sale of book publisher Simon & Schuster earlier this week for $1.62 billion. CNBC previously reported that Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is open to a merger or selling the company at the right price – but market conditions have complicated possibilities for a transformative transaction.
Paramount did, however, report losses in the TV arena, with advertising revenue dipping 14%. Its TV assets include brands like MTV, Nickelodeon, CBS and Showtime. Licensing and other revenue also decreased 7%.
While the company took a hit with $60 million in idle costs from Hollywood labor strikes, company executives said on the earnings call that they are optimistic the company will bounce back with its upcoming slate. The company also doesn’t plan to institute a streaming password-sharing crackdown similar to Netflix‘s.
Paramount’s stock closed up 10% Thursday during a rally across the media sector, spurred by Roku’s strong third quarter earnings report. An increase in Roku users allows consumers more access points to streaming services like Paramount+. Roku’s stock soared 30% Thursday.
–CNBC’s Christopher Hayes contributed to this report.