‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ ‘Doctor Who’ Deliver Strong Revenue, Earnings for AMC Networks

Sales at the National Networks soared 31 percent

Perhaps others networks should “Fear the Walking Dead” — or at least try to find their own version of the hit prequel.

AMC Networks crushed sales and earnings expectations with its third quarter 2015 results, which were unveiled on Thursday morning. Wall Street had forecast earnings per share of $0.85 on $605.05 million in revenue, per Yahoo Finance; Zacks believed EPS would come in two pennies higher. Revenue actually reached $632 million. Net income was $73 million, and EPS calculated to $0.99.

Q3 revenues rose 21.7 percent versus the comparable three-month period last year, as National Networks — AMC, BBC America, SundanceTV, IFC, and WE TV — jumped 31.3 percent in sales. Internationally, the numbers went the other way, though they had to compete with Q3 2014’s IFC Films release of “Boyhood.”

Overall, the domestic success won out, as AMC’s net income was up 35.2 percent from $54 million in 2014.

President and CEO Josh Sapan — and his accountants — attributed the good news to BBC America’s “Doctor Who” and AMC’s “Walking Dead” prequel, “Fear the Walking Dead.” Both shows delivered in terms of TV ratings and ad sales.

“AMC Networks had outstanding performance in the quarter, with significant increases in net revenues and operating cash flow driven by the continued popularity of our networks’ original programming, notably BBC America’s ‘Doctor Who’ and AMC’s newest original series, ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ which premiered to record numbers, becoming the biggest series debut in cable television history,” Sapan said.

“We continue to invest in our international business, growing our portfolio of strong local brands and launching the AMC brand into new markets,” Sapan continued. “We are confident our approach to creating great content and building networks with distinct brands that resonate with viewers will continue to drive our performance over the near- and long-term and deliver value for our shareholders.”

AMCX stock closed at $71.76 per share on Wednesday — down $5.24, or 6.81 percent.

Executives will host a conference call at 11 a.m. ET today, discussing the financial results. AMC Networks have been doing a bit of a dance surrounding a possible acquisition of premium cable channel Starz, another topic that may arise during the event for media analysts and reporters.

AMC Networks acquired a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America last October.