Viacom, Inc. (VIAB) Stock Soars 6.4% After Company Announces Vote to Expand Shareholder Rights


It’s always nice when a publicly traded company such as Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) wants to leave more of the decision making up to their own investors. Although not much will probably come of it, Viacom today announced plans to allow a vote on the expansion of shareholder rights.

Shares of Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) responded astoundingly as the stock is up over 6% in afternoon trading. The vote will determine if all shareholders will be allowed to vote on different aspects in the future. It came about after an activist submitted the proposal via Reuters on Thursday.

The proposal came about after concerns have arisen on the health of executive chairman Sumner Redstone, as his girlfriend recently referred to him as being “mentally absent” in a probate lawsuit. Unfortunately for shareholders looking to play a larger role in the media company, the vote probably won’t pass, as Restone’s holding company holds a majority stake. If anything though, the vote will help the company understand if shareholders feel as though the 92-year-old Redstone should continue his position with Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) or if someone else should perhaps take his place.

The stock is up 6.43% or $2.5 following the news, hitting $41.39 per share. About 3.55 million shares traded hands. VIAB has declined 42.86% since June 4, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 37.00%.

From a total of 18 analysts covering Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) stock, 10 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 8 a “Hold”. This means that 56% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $87 while the lowest target price is $42. The mean of all analyst targets is $59.28 which is 43.22% above today’s ($41.39) stock price. Viacom Inc. was the topic of 35 analyst reports since August 7, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Topeka Capital Markets maintained shares on December 23 with a “Hold” rating. Goldman Sachs downgraded shares to a”Neutral” rating and a $46 target share price in their report from an October 5. Deutsche Bank downgraded VIAB stock in a recent report from November 23 to a “Hold” rating. Finally, Pivotal Research maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a November 13.

Viacom Inc. is an entertainment content firm that connects with audiences in over 160 countries and territories and creates compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form video, applications, games, consumer products, social media and other entertainment content. The company has a market cap of $15.65 billion. The Firm operates through two divisions: Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment. It has 5.94 P/E ratio. Viacom Media Networks’ program services reached approximately 700 million households in over 160 countries.