Investors, who like to look forward, will have their chance soon to ask the company about its battle with Dish Network — which plans to drop channels including AMC, IFC, and WeTV at the end of June. But for now, they can relax by pouring over a Q1 earnings report that largely beat expectations. The company generated $43.2M in net income in Q1, up 44.8% vs the period last year, on revenues of $326.2M, up 19.5%. Revenues contrasted with expectations of $301.6M. And earnings from continuing operations, at 60 cents a share, surpassed the Street’s forecast of 44 cents. AMC says that its National Networks delivered revenues of $304M (+20.8%) with operating income of $109.2M (+33.4%). They benefited from a 29.7% jump in ad sales and 15% increase in fees from pay TV providers — outweighing rising costs for programming and marketing. The company’s International Networks generated revenues of $26M (+3.8%) but increasing expenses here resulted in an operating loss of $12.7M, 10.2% worse than last year.
CEO Josh Sapan says that AMC’s The Walking Dead was the highest rated scripted drama ever in basic cable in its target demographics while the latest season of Mad Men “currently ranks as the most watched season ever of the series, outperforming the prior season by double-digits. These successes underscore the strength of our original programming strategy, which continues to drive audience and advertiser demand for our networks.”