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Bob Bakish - Paramount Stock Slides on Stepped-Up Streaming Plans, Analyst Downgrade - variety.com
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Paramount Stock Slides on Stepped-Up Streaming Plans, Analyst Downgrade
Todd Spangler NY Digital EditorShares of Paramount, the new corporate name of ViacomCBS, took a dive after the media conglomerate told Wall Street that it was more aggressively equipping itself for battle in the streaming wars.The stock was down more than 15% in premarket trading Wednesday, coming a day after Paramount’s 2022 investor day presentation that detailed revised financial forecasts including a bigger capital outlay for its streaming strategy, led by Paramount Plus.Investors were apparently unnerved about the heavier investment Paramount plans to make in the streaming biz — it plans to boost spending on streaming content to $6 billion by 2024, versus $4 billion previously — and the resulting hit to profitability. Bank of America Securities analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich downgraded her rating on the stock, from “buy” to “neutral,” and cut her 12-month price target on the stock from $52 to $39 per share.SEE ALSO: As ViacomCBS Becomes Paramount, an Energized Company Solidifies Its Streaming Playbook“We commend management for taking a bold approach, but near-term headwinds will drive Y/Y declines in CY22 and CY23 OIBDA [operating income before depreciation and amortization] and pressure already depressed FCF [free cash flow] levels,” Reif Ehrlich wrote in a note to clients.In reporting Q4 2021 results, the company said Paramount Plus netted 7.3 million new subscribers to stand at 32.8 million at year end.
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