Entertainment conglomerate Viacom Inc. would be paying its first dividend payment of 15 cents per Class A and B common share on July 1 to shareholders of record as of June 21.
The parent of the Paramount Pictures film studio and MTV Networks, which includes cable channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and TV Land, Viacom made this information public at its annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday.
Besides, the Company also announced the resumption of its stock buyback program, which was put on hold during the economic slowdown over a year ago.
Emphasising that the Company’s focus had always been on efficiency, boosting free cash flow and investment, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said the board of directors had given a green signal to the $4 billion buyback program, which would begin in the fourth quarter.
According to Jefferies analyst Brian Shipman, the payment of a dividend and the resumption of the buyback program was signal that management is confident in Viacom's long-term growth and free cash flow generation.
And following the move, New York-based Viacom shares witnessed a 3.2% or $1.05 rise to $33.60 in afternoon trading. Notably, the Company had lost $86 million in the March quarter, as worldwide theatrical revenue dipped 6% and home video revenue declined 34%.