The share price is down in pre-market trading following the disappointing Q3 earnings release which contrasts with the company’s performance last year — a quarter when it racked up legal expenses for a court fight with Dish Network which also had temporarily stopped airing AMC Networks channels. The programmer just reported net income of $58.1M, +58.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $395.3M, +19.1%. The Street expected revenues to be a tad higher, at $396.3M. Earnings from continuing operations at 80 cents a share missed forecasts for 86 cents. At the main National Networks unit — which includes AMC, WE tv, IFC, and Sundance Channel — revenues grew 20.2% to $367.9M with cash flow +24.5% to $144.9M. The company says that ad sales were +36.3% to $146M due to strong demand for original shows such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. Meanwhile revenue from cable and satellite distribution fees was +11.4% to $221M. But the unit also shouldered higher programming and marketing expenses. At the International and Other operation — with overseas channels and IFC Films — revenues were +6.9% to $31.1M with cash flow -4.9% to a loss of $8.5M. AMC says IFC Films expenses rose in the quarter. Investors ultimately may consider the Q3 numbers to be a blip: AMC shares are +48% over the last 12 months — and when execs talk to analysts this morning they’ll likely will be peppered with questions about their new plan to buy Liberty Global’s Chellomedia. With that deal “we believe we will over time further capitalize on demand for our content by growing internationally, a key strategy to ensuring our long-term success,” CEO Josh Sapan says.
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