AMC Networks 4Q Net Rises Despite Lower Revenue

AMC Networks reported higher fourth-quarter earnings as benefits from the new tax law help offset lower income and revenue at its U.S. cable channels.

Net income was $146 million, or $2.33 per share, up from $14 million, or 20 cents a share. The earnings included a $67.9 million benefit from the new corporate tax law. It also gained $11 million by repatriating foreign earnings.

Revenue fell 0.4% to $727 million.

At AMC’s national networks, including AMC, WE tv, Sundance, IFC and BBC America, operating income was down 6.5% to $176 million.

Revenue fell 1.3% to $606 million at the national networks. Distribution revenue was up 6.8% but advertising revenue was down 9.9% to $269 million because of lower delivery of viewers.

Programming and other expenses were up, including a $38 million writeoff for programming assets.

"AMC Networks delivered record financial results in 2017, increasing net revenues and adjusted operating income for the seventh consecutive year since becoming a public company, and generating significant free cash flow that we are using to invest in key strategic initiatives and our networks," said CEO Josh Sapan.

"Our recent distribution deals with the streaming services fuboTV and Philo make AMC Networks available on more virtual MVPDS than any other independent programmer, proving the value of our discrete brands and our desirable, high-quality content,” Sapan said. “Our owned streaming services Sundance Now and Shudder are seeing healthy subscriber growth and their momentum, coupled with the growth of the other streaming services we have invested in, including Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, and the BBC and ITV's Britbox, highlights consumer demand for subscription streaming services with specialized content. As we continue to evolve and adapt in a world of changing viewer consumption habits, we believe AMC Networks occupies a position of unique strength and are confident that our size, our focus, and our portfolio of assets will enable us to continue to deliver strong financial results to our shareholders."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.