AMC Networks' Stock Opens Below Expectations As Analysts Curb Enthusiasm

Although analysts have high hopes for AMC Networks, the company is having a bumpy start on its first day as a public company. Shares in the owner of AMC, IFC, and We TV are selling for about $40 apiece, 8% lower than the market expected based on “when issued” trades for the company that Cablevision Systems spun off. That followed a report this morning from Barclays recommending that investors “underweight” the stock, which it targets at $32 a share. Also Maxim Group’s John Tinker downgraded AMC to “hold” from “buy.” The current trading price is too high for him although he says that AMC “is a terrific company.” He adds that he differs with other analysts who see AMC as ripe for a takeover. The fact that Cablevision’s Dolan family controls 71% of the voting shares means “this is unlikely,” Tinker says.

In conjunction with the spin-off, AMC said this morning that it completed its financing for $2.43 billion in debt. On its own, AMC “has the opportunity to further showcase each of its programming services and provide value to investors, distributors and advertisers,” CEO Josh Sapan said.

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