AMC Q4 Profit Down as Battle With Dish Takes a Toll

Dish blacked out AMC's networks from July Into October for its 14 million subscribers

Cable's AMC Networks, which airs popular shows including "The Walking Dead" and "Mad Men," reported a quarterly profit far below analysts' estimates fueled by a temporary blackout of its channels by Dish Network and higher programming costs.

AMC Networks shares, which have risen nearly 50 percent in the last six months, fell nearly 14 percent on Tuesday morning. AMC's results missed analysts' estimates for the first time in four quarters.

Also read: Dish-AMC Network Battle Heats Up: Dish Pushes AMC Networks to the Back of the Dial

Dish blacked out AMC's networks from July till Oct. 21 for its 14 million subscribers, saying the channels did not generate ratings large enough to justify a licensing fee increases AMC sought.

It resumed broadcasting the AMC Channel on Oct. 21 and other AMC Networks programming, such as Sundance channel, WE tv and IFC, from Nov. 1. Dish customers account for about 13 percent of AMC's subscriber base.

AMC's net income fell to $15.2 million, or 21 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $29.5 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding repayment of debt, AMC earned 28 cents per share, which was far below analysts' expectations of 65 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue at AMC Networks, formerly known as Rainbow Media, rose 8 percent to $366.7 million, which fell short of the $370.1 million that analysts had estimated.

Operating expenses rose 10 percent to about $286 million.