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Wells Fargo Analyst Initiates AMC Coverage at ‘Outperform’

Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker has initiated coverage of AMC Networks with a positive “outperform” rating.

“We think AMC possesses every [attribute] that will help it navigate the uncertain media waters successfully,” Ryvicker said in a note Tuesday.

She said the company offers a “clean” programming portfolio, it owns content, its distribution is increasing, it is earning a growing share of the shrinking TV ad pie and it doesn’t have to worry about NFL ratings.

She also said the company has trusted management, and there is the possibility that merger and acquisition activity could boost the stock.

While noting that AMC’s ratings are down on some shows, including The Walking Dead, she notes that there is no other place where advertisers can capture as many adult 18-to-49 eyeballs. AMC’s closest competitors in terms of quality programming are not ad supported, such as HBO, Showtime and Netflix, she adds.

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In terms of earnings, Ryvicker’s initial estimate is $6.52 per share for 2017, which is above the Wall Street consensus of $6.49.

Ryvicker estimates that based on Discovery Communications's planned acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, AMC Should be valued at $76 a share. Her current price target for AMC is $72 a share.

AMC shares were tradiing at $58.26 a share, up 49 cents, in Tueday morning (Oct. 10) trading.