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AMC Networks Stock Slips Again, Now Shares Are Half of What They Were a Year Ago

”Walking Dead“ home reported a fairly rough fourth quarter on Wednesday

AMC Networks stock opened down 6.2% on Wednesday, continuing its rough run over the past 12 months.

Starting the morning at $31.01, AMCX shares are now worth half of what they were one year ago. On Feb. 26, 2019, AMC Networks traded at $62.45 per share. By March 1 of last year, they were north of $66.

At its best, in Summer 2015, shares in AMC traded above $85 apiece.

Not anymore, not even close.

This time around, the culprit was a worse-than-anticipated financial performance in the fourth quarter of 2019, when the company actually swung to a loss. Even with a few big accounting moves, AMC’s adjusted earnings per share came in under Wall Street’s expectations. Higher streaming costs and lower domestic ratings were two of the biggest culprits.

AMC’s linear channels are AMC, IFC, We TV, BBC America, and SundanceTV. Its SVOD services are Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC (Urban Movie Channel).

Read more about AMC Networks’ Q4 and full-year 2019 financial performance here.

A few highlights (though they’re mostly lowlights in this case) can be found below.

Wall Street forecast AMC’s Q4 earnings per share (EPS) of $1.76 on $773.71 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Yahoo Finance. On Wednesday, AMC Networks actually reported adjusted EPS of $1.69 on $785 million in revenue.

The company’s fourth-quarter net loss was $9 million (-15 cents per diluted share), compared with a net income of $72 million ($1.24 per diluted share) in the comparable year-ago period. AMC Networks reported operating income of $42 million and adjusted operating income of $200 million.

Even with adjustments, Q4 2019 operating income was down 8.7%. Without them, the decrease would have been a whopping -69.6%.

Q4, which included the start of Season 10 of “The Walking Dead,” was also marred by an advertising revenue decrease of 7.8% at AMC Networks’ domestic channels — AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV — due to lower U.S. TV ratings. Those declines were partially offset by higher pricing for ads.

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