AMC Networks Had Over 6 Million Streaming Subs In Q4; Earnings Beat Street; Stock Pops

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AMC Networks ended 2020 with more than 6 million subscribers for its AMC Networks streaming services across recently launched AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK– up 157% year-on-year.

The company Friday reported fourth quarter earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts. Revenue slipped 0.6% to $780.3 million and AMC swung to net income of $94.7 million, or $2.09 a share, from a loss of $8.6 million, or 15 cents a share, the year-ago before.

The shares were up more than 5% in premarket trading.

AMC Nets separately noted a gain of $76 million related to its shares of FuboTV, which it sold in multiple transactions in December and January — realizing total gross proceeds of $96 million in January. (It holds no more shares in Fubo.)

Streaming is now the most significant growth area of the company, said CEO Josh Sapan. He called  2020 “a year of strong performance for AMC Networks, as we continued to transform our company while successfully navigating what has been a uniquely challenging and uncertain operating environment.”

He cited strong distribution relationships, key digital advertising initiatives and resumed content production “as providing us with strong tailwinds and we believe there are significant and sustainable opportunities before us as we continue to reconstitute our company.”

AMC resumed production of multiple shows in the third and fourth quarters, including The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Creepshow and the upcoming Kevin Can F**k Himself, among others.

Domestic advertising revenue dipped 5.5% during the quarter, less than the 10% decline some Wall Streeters anticipated. The company attributed the dip to timing of airing of original programming, partly offset by stronger scatter pricing. 

Domestic distribution revenue eased 1.2%, also substantially above expectations on declines in subscription and content licensing sale numbers.

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