CEO Josh Sapan’s investment in overseas networks appeared to pay off for AMC Networks in Q3. The programming company just reported that net income came in at $53.2 million, down 8.5% vs. the period last year, on revenues of $519.6 million, +31.4%. The top line was well ahead of the $511.1 million that analysts expected. Earnings at 73 cents per share were right on target.
“We are particularly pleased that for the broadcast season, which ended in the third quarter, AMC Networks in aggregate was the only cable media group to have experienced double-digit growth in viewership among key demos adults 18-49 and adults 25-54,” Sapan says. “Our year-over-year growth is significant and speaks to the success of our core content investment strategy.”
The story was mixed, though, at the domestic National Networks which include AMC, WE tv, IFC, and SundanceTV. Revenues increased 4.3% to $397.4 million helped by a 10.5% increase in fees paid by cable and satellite companies as well as digital and licensing revenues. But advertising fell 5.8% to $138 million. The company attributes that to AMC and “the timing of the airing of original programming,” which it says offset gains at the other three networks. Meanwhile, operating income fell 17.3% to $115.3 million as programming expenses increased and the company took a $9 million charge to write off “unscripted programming assets.”
International – a division that also includes IFC Films – stood out following AMC’s $1 billion acquisition of Chellomedia in January. That drove a 765.2% increase in revenues to $122.7 million. The unit also was helped by the theatrical release of IFC’s Boyhood. The operating loss for International fell 69.7% to $5.4 million.