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AMC Networks Posts Big Gain in Third Quarter

Proving that zombies are good business, AMC Networks reported a big gain in profits in the third quarter as it aired its new series Fear the Walking Dead.

Net income was $72.8 million, or 99 cents a share, up 37% from $53.2 million, or 73 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenues rose 21.7% to $632 million.

AMC’s financials also got a boost from the acquisition of BBC America to its stable of networks.

“AMC Networks had outstanding performance in the quarter, with significant increases in net revenues and operating cash flow driven by the continued popularity of our networks' original programming, notably BBC America’s Doctor Who and AMC's newest original series, Fear the Walking Dead, which premiered to record numbers, becoming the biggest series debut in cable television history,” said CEO Josh Sapan.

“We continue to invest in our international business, growing our portfolio of strong local brands and launching the AMC brand into new markets. We are confident our approach to creating great content and building networks with distinct brands that resonate with viewers will continue to drive our performance over the near- and long-term and deliver value for our shareholders," Sapan said.

At AMC’s National Networks group, cash flow increased 45.1% to $187 million. Revenues were up 31.3% to $522 million and operating income rose 50.2% to $173 million.

Advertising revenues were up 52.3% to $210 million. The addition of BBC America was a big part of the gain, in addition to growth at AMC, which aired the high-rated Fear the Walking Dead, a spinoff of The Walking Dead, TV's highest rated show.

Distribution revenues were up 20.1% to $311 million, also boosted by the addition of BBC America.

The company took a $12 million charge to write off some programming assets.