Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Viacom is leaving no stone unturned to evolve from its struggles, which have been responsible for the stock underperforming the industry it belongs to in the last one year. The company is expected to perform well in the fiscal third quarter, detailed results of which will be out on Aug 3. Apart from the turnaround plan announced earlier this year, we are also impressed by Viacom's expansion plans. To this end, Viacom had inked a deal with Telefonica S.A in Nov 2016, to acquire Television Federal S.A. (Telefe). However, Viacom's high debt levels remain concerning. Moreover, the company's merger with CBS Corp. has been called off. This is a concern for investors as a merger would have been beneficial for Viacom and provided much needed cost synergies for the company.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Viacom in a research note on Monday, April 17th. Pivotal Research reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Viacom in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded Viacom from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $41.00 price objective on shares of Viacom in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reduced their price objective on Viacom from $44.00 to $42.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Viacom currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $43.14.

Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) traded up 3.99% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $35.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,765,630 shares. Viacom has a 1-year low of $32.68 and a 1-year high of $46.72. The company has a market capitalization of $14.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.81 and a beta of 1.57. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $34.80 and its 200-day moving average price is $39.54.

Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The company reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.20. Viacom had a return on equity of 32.00% and a net margin of 9.32%. The business had revenue of $3.26 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.03 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.76 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Viacom will post $3.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co boosted its stake in shares of Viacom by 15.8% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 2,202 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Fifth Third Bancorp boosted its stake in shares of Viacom by 9.4% in the first quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 2,616 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 225 shares during the period. First Personal Financial Services boosted its stake in shares of Viacom by 998.2% in the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 3,086 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,000 after buying an additional 2,805 shares during the period. Delta Asset Management LLC TN boosted its stake in shares of Viacom by 12.2% in the second quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 4,358 shares of the company’s stock valued at $146,000 after buying an additional 475 shares during the period. Finally, Whittier Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of Viacom by 80.6% in the first quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 3,192 shares of the company’s stock valued at $149,000 after buying an additional 1,425 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.57% of the company’s stock.

Viacom Company Profile

Viacom Inc offers global media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, applications, games, consumer products, social media experiences and other entertainment content. As of September 30, 2016, the Company offered its services for audiences in more than 180 countries.

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Analyst Recommendations for Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB)

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