Restructuring Leaves AMC Networks With $264.7 Million Net Loss in Q4

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AMC Networks, looking to reset after naming a new CEO and taking restructuring charges, reported a net loss in the fourth quarter.

The company said streaming revenue rose 41% and that it added 700,000 subscribers to its streaming services.

On Thursday, AMC said Kristin Dolan would be joining the company as its new CEO. Dolan is the wife of interim executive chairman James Dolan, whose family has a controlling interest in AMC.

AMC took a $403.8 million charge against earrings for content impairment and $45.2 million for personnel costs resulting from layoffs that cut the company’s staff by 20%.

Also Read: AMC Networks Cutting Spending on Programming by 20%

Including the charges, the company reported a net loss of $264.7 million, or $6.11 a share, compared to $17 million in net income, or $39 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted operating income, excluding the charges, was up 34% to $137 million. 

Net revenue rose 20% to $965 million. Early content sales of the latest season of The Walking Dead to Netflix boosted revenue above Wall Street forecasts and AMC's stock jumped 27% in mid-day trading.

Similarly, AMC’s domestic operations posted a $287 million operating loss including charges of $423 million for programming assessments and restructuring charges. But adjusted operating income — excluding those charges — increased 27% to $154 million.

Revenues increased 26% to $861 million.  

Content-licensing revenue increased 152% to $300 million as the company delivered episodes of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead to a third party.

The company ended the quarter with 11.8 million subscribers to its specialized streaming services, up from 11.1 million at the end of the third quarter.

Advertising revenue was down 12% to $206 million. The company said the drop was caused by lower linear ratings, softness in the ad market and fewer original programming episodes. Revenue from digital and advanced advertising increased.

Affiliate revenue declined 7.5% because of basic subscriber declines. 

“AMC Networks is focused on maximizing the value of our high-quality, popular content through optimized content monetization as we reduce costs and drive cash flow,” James Dolan said. “We believe this approach will position the company well to navigate current industry dynamics and enable us to generate long-term shareholder value.” ■

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.