Viacom 1Q earnings shredded by ‘Rock Band’

NEW YORK (AP) ? Viacom posted a 65 percent drop in net income for the latest quarter, as it took a charge related to the “Rock Band” series of video games.

Viacom Inc., the owner of Paramount Pictures, MTV and Comedy Central, earned $212 million, or 38 cents per share in the October to December quarter. That’s just over one third of the $610 million, or $1 cents per share, it earned in the same period last year.

Excluding money Viacom may owe former shareholders of Harmonix, creator of “Rock Band,” earnings were $1.06 per share in its fiscal first quarter, a penny above the average analyst estimate as polled by FactSet.

Viacom says its revenue rose 3 percent to $3.95 billion from $3.83 billion. Analysts expected $3.99 billion.