AMC Networks profit misses estimates on Dish blackout

Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:21am EST

(Reuters) - Cable network AMC Networks Inc (AMCX.O), which airs popular shows such as "The Walking Dead" and "Mad Men," reported a quarterly profit way below analysts' estimates on a temporary blackout of its channels by Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) 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.

Dish blacked out AMC's networks from July till October 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 October 21 and other AMC Networks programming, such as Sundance channel, WE tv and IFC, from November 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, below analysts' expectations of 65 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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.

AMC's results missed analysts' estimates for the first time in four quarters.

(Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das, Roshni Menon)

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