AMC Networks Beats Q3 Earnings Despite 15.5% Decline in US Ad Sales

Operating income dropped nearly 29% at national networks (AMC, WE tv, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios)

AMC Networks topped on Q3 earnings estimates despite negative impacts due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Wall Street had forecast earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $606.04 million in revenue, according to a consensus forecast compiled by Yahoo Finance. AMC reported adjusted EPS of $1.32 per share on $654 million in revenue.

Overall, revenues dipped 9% from the comparable quarter in 2019. The company’s operating loss was -17.2%. (After some favorable adjustments that figure was a slightly more palatable -15.4%.)

Those declines were harsher when just isolating the U.S. networks. Internationally, revenues actually grew thanks to AMC Networks’ SVOD (subscriber video on demand) services: Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC.

In the U.S., ad sales declined 15.5% vs. Q3 of 2019. That reflected the timing of originals both due to COVID-19 and not, as well as a lower demand for those commercial slots.

AMC’s national networks are: AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.

“The company delivered solid results in the 3rd quarter and we continue to maintain a strong financial profile, with a solid balance sheet, very good liquidity and healthy levels of free cash flow,” President and Chief Executive Officer Josh Sapan said in prepared remarks accompanying the financials. “AMC Networks is fast becoming the global leader in SVOD services for targeted audiences, with our Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC services set to exceed 4 million subscribers by year-end, outperforming our expectations. With the addition of our new AMC+ premium SVOD offering, we expect to have 5 to 5.5 million total SVOD subscribers, in aggregate, by the end of the year. Our strong content also continues to resonate with viewers, with AMC home to 4 of the top 6 cable dramas in 2020 among adults 25-54, including our newest series in ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe, ‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ ranking as the No. 1 freshman cable drama of the year.”

AMC stock (AMCX) closed Friday at $21.25 per share. The U.S. stock markets will reopen for the regular training day at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Sapan and his fellow AMC executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET today to discuss the third quarter results in greater detail.

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