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Earnings: Viacom Net Profit Nearly Quadruples

Viacom Inc. reported dramatic improvements in its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. The company reported net earnings of $480.8 million, or 69 cents per share, nearly quadrupling the company's 2005 net earnings of $129.5 million, or 17 cents per share.

Revenue increased 32% to $3.59 billion, while operating expenses increased 20% to $2.76 billion.

Viacom’s media networks, which include cable channels MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and BET, saw a 4% increase in revenue from $1.9 in fourth quarter 2005 to $2.08 billion. This growth was led by affiliate revenues, which were up 14% to $532 million.

The company saw a 46% increase in revenue in its Filmed Entertainment division, from $3 billion in 2005 to $4.38 billion in 2006, mostly due to the acquisition of DreamWorks and its live-action library, which contributed $1.36 billion.

Viacom said it expects to show roughly $70 million in charges related to the restructuring at MTV during 2007, of which $50 million will be taken in the first quarter.