AMC Networks Plans Big $500 Million Share Buyback

AMC’s repurchase equates to about 10 percent of the company’s total market value

AMC Networks is bargain-hunting in its own store, setting a $500 million share repurchase program that will buy back about 10 percent of its stock.

Like those of other television companies, AMC’s shares have been under pressure by worries about pay-TV subscribers shifting to online options, compounded by a pullback in global markets at large. Despite reporting a better-than-expected jump in earnings in the most recent quarter, the company’s stock has deflated about 11 percent so far this year.

On news of the repurchase plan, AMC shares rose 1.4 percent to $67.50 in premarket trading.

The $500 million worth of stock equates to about 10 percent of its current market capitalization of $4.82 billion.

CEO Josh Sapan said in a statement that the strategy reflected the attractive price of its shares, the company’s confidence in future business, and a desire to shore up shareholder value.

It’s the first stock buyback since the company’s 2011 spinoff of Cablevision.

The timing and amount of the buybacks isn’t set, the company said, and repurchases will be based on market conditions and share price, as well as other factors. AMC said it has no established closing date, and the buyback program can be suspended or discontinued at any time.