AMC Networks Inc.NASDAQ
AMC Networks: The Price Is Much More Logical, But Risks Continue
Vince Martin • 14 Comments
Vince Martin • 14 Comments
Yesterday, 12:02 PM
- Time Warner (TWX +12.4%) is still climbing and cruising to 15-year highs after the WSJ report that it's in advanced talks to be taken over by AT&T (T -3.9%), which is now at its lowest point since February.
- The deal -- which would create a media/telecom giant that would reshape the industry -- would be likely cash and stock, though talks are fluid and might not end in a deal.
- The mix of the deal is likely crucial to its outcome, with Time Warner (not to be confused with Time Warner Cable, now part of Charter Communications) now worth more than $75B -- and a year after AT&T ponied up nearly $49B to take over DirecTV.
- Other potential acquisition targets in media (is anything off the table in a rapidly consolidating sector?) are on the move: DISCA +6.4%, SNI +5.6%, AMCX +4.3%. Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) made its own move up, +2.4%.
- Engaged in talks about their own re-merger, Viacom (VIA +2.8%, VIAB +4.1%) is up, as is erstwhile and possibly future partner CBS (CBS +2.7%).
Mon, Oct. 17, 8:24 AM
- RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ:RLJE) and AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) announce a strategic partnership to help develop and build out streaming services.
- As part of the agreement, AMC Networks has invested $65M in the form of loans to RLJ Entertainment to bolster the company's financial profile. In addition, AMC Networks has received warrants which wil provide AMC Networks with at least 50.1% of the outstanding RLJ Entertainment common stock if exercised in full.
- RLJE +10.0% premarket to $2.20.
- Source: Press Release
Fri, Oct. 14, 6:29 PM
- AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) sealed a new contract with Chief Operating Officer Edward Carroll that runs through the end of 2021.
- Carroll gets a raise to $1.7M in base salary as of Sept. 1, 2016, "subject to annual review and potential increase," as well as an annual target bonus opportunity of 175% of base.
- For this year, he also got long-term equity awards with a target value of $150K, and beginning next year he's expected to receive long-term cash and/or equity awards totaling at least $3.4M.
- Carroll also got a one-time awards of restricted stock units with target value $12.5M, which vests (with few exceptions) at the end of the deal.
- SEC filing
Tue, Sep. 27, 6:31 PM
- AMC Networks (AMCX -2%) has set up its new team to manage international programming.
- Kristin Jones, senior VP of international programming for AMC, is in charge of managing programming and co-productions for AMC TV and SundanceTV. The company's adding Chris Loveall as VP to help with development and acquisitions.
- Jones, who help nab shows including The Night Manager and Humans for AMC, will continue to report to programming president Joel Stillerman.
Wed, Sep. 21, 4:00 PM
- AMC Networks (AMCX +0.9%) CEO Josh Sapan pointed to history in describing the company's continuing strategy at the Communacopia Conference: The company spun out from Cablevision in 2011 with about $1B in revenue and EBITDA around $450M; since then, run-rate revenue has tripled and EBITDA about doubled.
- The competitive environment is more cluttered, Sapan admits, and while there was some question about how the company would respond after the ends of hits Mad Men and Breaking Bad, "Cable dramas, of the top 10, we have five of them. So that's a pretty good place to be ... all of them new entrants, in the past 24 months."
- AMC gets flexibility from dependence on not two, but three revenue streams: Advertising, affiliate fees, and the sale of shows. "When we begin a series, pick a number, say $3M/hour ... we are able to, with certainty, bring the reliance on U.S. variable dollars like advertising way down if it's been sold to international SVOD (subscription video on demand) ... it allows us to increase our volume."
- He contrasted the company's approach to SVOD with that of rivals in terms of friendliness to pay TV. "We do sell to SVOD domestically; Netflix, notably, and Hulu. We are more deliberate and more careful and more restrained than some," with shows appearing on AMC (or IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America) and then "about a year later will go to U.S. domestic SVOD ... that's a long delay.
- "Others put them on very quickly. We've been pretty consistent in trying to provide real value to MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors) who ... pay our license fees and brought us to the dance. That yearlong advance window we think is pretty important to them." Sapan says vs. competitors, AMC's channels are "dramatically underpriced" compared to what's delivered.
- Ads may hiccup this quarter but rebound in Q4, he says. "We just finished a very good upfront ... advertisers are trying to reach our demo." The company's seeing "increasing CPM, very very high demand, on a very good trajectory ... in Q3 we saw a hiccup, but any given show, any given 90 days you're going to see those things. Q4 should be a good quarter."
Thu, Aug. 4, 8:07 AM
Wed, Aug. 3, 5:30 PM
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Mon, Aug. 1, 4:37 PM
- AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) has named Christian Wymbs executive VP and chief accounting officer, effective today.
- He'll succeed Chief Financial Officer Sean Sullivan in that role, and report to Sullivan. Wymbs will have oversight of corporate accounting, financial reporting and tax functions.
- Wymbs comes to AMC from American Express, where he was most recently CFO of its Global Commercial Services business.
Fri, Jul. 15, 2:03 PM
- Network stocks CBS, Discovery Communications and AMC Networks have headed lower today as UBS downgrades them in a new update.
- CBS fell 3.1%, erasing the past week's gains, as analyst Douglas Mitchelson suggested ad strength is priced in and might wane in the second half, especially amid the intensifying competition of presidential campaign ad season.
- UBS downgraded it to Sell from Neutral and kept a $52 price target (about 7% downside from today's lower price).
- Similarly, second-half concerns weigh on Discovery (DISCA -2.3%) and AMC (AMCX -4%) as Michelson worries about their ability to diversify away from focus strengths, and downgrades to Sell In AMC's case, it will need a hit to replace a weakening The Walking Dead; and UBS is concerned that neither AMC nor Discovery can make it into a new skinny bundle from Hulu.
- AMC is sitting just 3.5% over its 52-week low, while Discovery is just 6.2% over its 52-week low.
Thu, May 5, 2:08 PM
- AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) has gained 5.6% on heavy volume today after posting earnings that beat expectations solidly, with strength from licensing its content.
- Strong growth in its national networks (AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV) was paced by distribution revenues that grew 10.7% to $335M, which includes digital distribution and licensing fees as well as increasing affiliate fees.
- Revenue by segment: National networks, $598.6M (up 6.4%); International and other, $109M (up 2.5%). Adjusted operating cash flow was up 10.9% in National networks to $280.95M, down 10.1% to $5.11M internationally.
- International results showed some surprising strength, with AMC Networks International showing gains partly offset by declines at IFC Films.
- Press Release
- Now read AMC Networks Still Doesn't Look Cheap »
Thu, May 5, 8:10 AM
Wed, May 4, 5:30 PM
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Tue, Apr. 19, 7:53 PM
- With college basketball putting away the equipment after its tournament, Fox News (FOX -0.1%, FOXA -0.3%) reclaimed the top spot in prime-time cable ratings from TBS (TWX -0.5%), drawing 1.8M viewers on average.
- TBS and HGTV (SNI -0.5%) tied for second place with 1.5M viewers, while Turner's TNT tied with ESPN (DIS +1.1%) for fourth, with 1.4M.
- On the all-day basis, Nickelodeon (VIA -7.1%, VIAB -8.3%) was in a familiar spot at the top, with 1.1M viewers, ahead of Fox News, Adult Swim, Disney Channel and HGTV (though Viacom investors' eyes are on tense negotiations with Dish Network). And ESPN took the adults 18-49 demographic with 734K viewers.
- Zombies are still killin' it for AMC Network (AMCX -0.6%), as Fear the Walking Dead was cable's top show for the week, with 5.5M viewers topping CNN's Democratic Debate with 5.4M and TNT's Memphis/San Antonio NBA playoff game, with 3.9M.
- Now read Viacom: Opportunity Hidden In A Soap Opera »
Tue, Apr. 5, 9:49 PM
- In cable ratings, CNN (NYSE:TWX) is benefiting from a (let's say) vivid presidential election season, finishing ahead of Fox News in the age 25-54 prime-time demographic this week for the fourth time in seven weeks.
- Fox News (FOX, FOXA), though, prevailed in total day viewers (averaging 1.1M), and was No. 3 among primetime cable viewers, with 1.8M to CNN's 1.2M. MSNBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was behind them, with 965K in prime time and 549K in total day.
- Among the other top five prime-time cablers: basketball-fed TBS, AMC, HGTV (NASDAQ:SNI) and USA Network (CMCSA).
- Meanwhile, Sunday's season finale of AMC's (NASDAQ:AMCX) flagship show The Walking Dead drew 14.2M viewers --great, but still down from the 15.8M who watched last year's finale and the 17.3M who watched last year's premiere.
- Earlier, Jefferies initiated coverage of AMC with a Hold amid concerns that The Walking Dead may have peaked and the network may be a bit dependent on the hit.
- Now read What Does ValueAct See In Fox? »
Tue, Apr. 5, 7:28 PM
- AMC Networks (AMCX +1.5%) has a challenge ahead as it looks increasingly dependent on a mega-hit program that may have peaked, Jefferies says.
- The firm launched coverage of AMC at Hold and says "it will be important for AMC to develop new hit programming in 2016, especially considering that The Walking Dead franchise could be nearing its peak as ratings have slipped ~8% in Season 6" in live plus same-day ratings.
- That's a key risk for the company, says analyst John Janedis, along with the challenge of expanding margins as it owns more content.
- The Walking Dead may generate more than 25% of U.S. advertising for the company in 2016, though with new original programs (and their higher CPMs) coming, AMC may see 7% growth in domestic advertising this year.
- He sees Q1 EPS of $1.77 (below consensus for $1.82) and revenues of $686M (vs. consensus $700M), and 2016 EPS of $5.73 (below consensus $5.75) and revenue of $2.769B (vs. consensus $2.781B).
- Janedis set a $72 price target on shares, implying 11% upside from today's closing price of $64.81.
- Now read AMC Networks Still Doesn't Look Cheap »
Wed, Mar. 23, 5:32 PM
- AMC Networks (AMCX -2.7%) has priced an upsized offering of $1B in senior notes, a move it's making in conjunction with a tender offer to roll over shorter-term debt.
- The company priced a public offering of $1B in 5% notes due 2024. Some of those proceeds are going to go toward a cash tender for any and all of AMC's 7.75% senior notes due 2021.
- That offer consists of $1,058.57 per $1,000 in principal. There's some $700M of those notes outstanding.