* "Turn" draws fewer viewers than older hits
* 1st-qtr adj profit/shr $1.04 vs est $1.16
* 1st-qtr revenue $524.6 mln vs est $507.5 mln
* Shares fall as much as 17.6 pct
(Adds analyst comments, details; updates shares)
By Lehar Maan
May 8 Cable TV broadcaster AMC Networks Inc
said it expects slower advertising growth this quarter
as its latest series, "Turn", draws fewer viewers than its older
hits, sending its shares down nearly 18 percent.
AMC also reported a first-quarter profit that missed
analysts' estimates as it spent more on new programs to replace
hit shows such as "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men".
The company's newest show "Turn" debuted in April with 2.1
million viewers, less than half of what its hit zombie show "The
Walking Dead" started with. (r.reuters.com/sap29v)
"It sounds like the costs will continue to be
higher-than-expected in the second and third quarters, as they
are replacing licensed shows with wholly owned shows," Evercore
Partners analyst Alan Gould said.
"Turn", which tells the story of four childhood friends who
became spies during the American Revolutionary War in 1778, is
facing stiff competition from HBO's hit series "Game of
"The series is not doing that well. I think they'll have to
write off that show," Albert Fried & Co LLC analyst Rich Tullo
AMC has also lined up "Halt & Catch Fire," a series set
during the personal computer boom of the 1980s, for a June
The company's operating expenses soared 48 percent to $376.9
million in the quarter ended March 31, partly due to its
purchase of Chellomedia - the former international content arm
of Liberty Global Inc.
Revenue jumped 37 percent to $524.6 million, beating the
average analyst estimate of $507.5 million.
Advertising revenue increased 27 percent as more people
watched the fourth-season finale of "The Walking Dead".
National networks revenue rose 20.7 percent to $448.7
million. Revenue from AMC's international networks category,
which includes Chellomedia, rose seven-fold to $76.6 million.
Net income rose to $71.4 million, or 98 cents per share,
from $61.5 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.04 per share.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.16 per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
AMC shares were down 9 percent at $59.61 on the Nasdaq on
Thursday afternoon after falling to $53.99 earlier in the day.
Almost 4 million shares changed hands by 1320 ET, about five
times the stock's 10-day moving average.
(Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila and Simon Jennings)