AMC in trouble?

‘The Walking Dead’ Is Up, But AMC Stock Is Way Down

Despite hosting some of the most popular and acclaimed shows on television, AMC, like its flagship series, seems to be “walking dead.” The troubled network has seen fourth quarter earnings decline and stock fall as much as 11 percent.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, AMC Networks, the parent company to AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, and WE TV, posted earnings from continuing operations of $15 million, compared with $29 million during the same period a year ago. Operating profit is up 2 percent, but operating expenses rose as well. Loan-repayment has complicated the bottom line as well.

Quarterly revenue rose 8.2 percent to $367 million from $339 million, and advertising revenue was up 16 percent, partially due to the huge battle with Dish Network last year. But all of this is well under Wall Street estimates, casting some uncertainty on the future of the struggling network.

Still, Broadcasting Cable reports that AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan isn’t worried.

“2012 was a successful year for AMC Networks,” he said. “Our continued strategy of investing in original programming while developing strong brands with consumers resulted in record ratings, most notably for AMC’s ratings juggernaut The Walking Dead.”

“We resolved our legal dispute with Dish Network, completed new carriage agreements with a number of leading distributors, and expanded our relationships with key advertisers. All of which, contributed to strong financial results for the full year and gives us confidence that we are well-positioned for continued success in the year ahead.”

Sapan’s longer-term plan for AMC’s success might account for a few setbacks or failures to turn around on expectations, but it remains to be seen whether this strategy will pay off. It really does seem like AMC is doing everything right, it’s just not really working. Then again, maybe we just need to give it time.