(By Balaseshan) Notable earnings announcement before the opening bell on Thursday include: Viacom (VIA), Aetna (AET), and Hershey (HSY).
Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA) (NASDAQ: VIAB) reported a 20% decline in quarterly earnings driven primarily by lower Filmed Entertainment revenues due to the timing and mix of releases as well as lower revenues and increased investments in programming at Media Networks. Adjusted EPS from continuing operations declined 14% to $0.91.
Earnings from continuing operations for the first quarter were $473 million or $0.93 per share, down from $591 million or $1.06 per share last year. Revenue fell 16% to $3.31 billion. Street analysts had expected EPS of $0.90 on revenue of $3.48 billion. VIA closed Wednesday's regular session at $62.18, while VIAB ended $59.33.
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Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) reported earnings for the fourth quarter of $190.1 million or $0.56 per share, down from $372.6 million or $1.02 per share in the same period last year. Operating EPS fell to $0.94 from $0.97. Revenue rose 5% to $8.96 billion. Street analysts had projected EPS of $0.96 on revenue of $8.97 billion.
In a separate release, the company announced changes to its executive leadership team as part of its growth strategy and a continuing effort to align its businesses with the evolving needs of its customers. AET closed Wednesday's regular session at $48.95.
Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $149.88 million or $0.66 per share, up from $142.13 million or $0.62 per share last year. Adjusted EPS rose to $0.74 from $0.70. Sales increased 11.7% to $1.75 billion. Street analysts had expected EPS of $0.76 on revenue of $1.71 billion.
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For fiscal 2013, the chocolate maker lifted its adjusted EPS growth guidance to range of 10% to 12% from previous estimate of 8% to 10%. Hershey expects 2013 net sales growth of 5% to 7%, including the impact of foreign currency exchange rates. Street predicts EPS growth of 10.80% and revenue to rise 6%. HSY closed Wednesday's regular session at $78.28.