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'The Walking Dead' Helps AMC Networks' Profit More Than Double

Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 11:17 AM

"The Walking Dead" is breathing life into AMC Networks Inc.'s business.

The cable channel operator said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income more than doubled from the year before, thanks to its popular zombie drama.

The company, based in New York, operates several cable channels, including AMC, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv. "The Walking Dead," which airs on AMC, is the most watched show among adults aged 18 to 49, the age group that advertisers covet. Advertising revenue in the fourth quarter jumped 31 percent from the prior year to $205 million, most of it because of the AMC channel, the company said.

Looking ahead, AMC Networks said it plans to debut "Better Call Saul" in November, a spin-off show of "Breaking Bad," which ended in September to high ratings. It hopes to duplicate the success of "The Walking Dead" by developing another show based on a comic book called "Preacher."

The company said its net income rose to $35.4 million, or 49 cents per share, in the three months ending Dec. 31. That compares with net income of $15.2 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Revenue rose 19 percent to $435.2 million from $366.7 million.

Analysts expected earnings of 79 cents per share and revenue of $419.2 million, according to FactSet.

For 2013, the company reported net income of $290.7 million, or $4 per share, compared with net income of $136.5 million, or $1.89 per share, in 2012. Revenue rose 18 percent to $1.59 billion from $1.35 billion.

Shares of AMC Networks rose $1.67, or 2.4 percent, to $71.28 in morning trading.

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Cable TV network AMC Networks reported a jump in quarterly revenue that handily beat Street estimates, helped by the popularity of "The Walking Dead."
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2014-17-27
Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 11:17 AM
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