Looks like CEO Josh Sapan‘s comments to analysts addressed whatever concerns investors had about AMC Networks’ mixed Q4 earnings report this morning. The company’s stock price opened slightly down but quickly, and steadily, appreciated throughout the morning: It closed +6% at $73.75 after touching $74.22, passing the previous all-time high, on November 6, of $73.39. AMC Networks‘ Q4 report startled some company watchers with its $52M charge for losses tied to the cancellation of Low Winter Sun and The Killing. The charge “was obviously worse than what we modeled and could include more than just these two shows,” MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson says. There was also some concern that it might indicate problems that could affect AMC’s upcoming series Turn and Halt & Catch Fire. Sapan wouldn’t give analysts specific metrics for assessing the performances of these shows and, in November, the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. While “they’re all well-done shows,” the CEO said, “they’re all reasonably pretty expensive….There is no big bargain among them.” Investors apparently decided to give AMC the benefit of the doubt. “The optimistic case says they cleaned house, got all the bad news out of the way,” Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger observed. “There can’t be much risk left on the balance sheet after wiping out ~5% of the inventory.”
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