Domestic advertising was up 3% to $298 million -- more than 1% gain estimated from a consensus of media analysts. Distribution revenues rose much faster -- 16% to $316 million.
Mid-day stock price of AMC rocketed up 14% to $65.39 on the news.
Total revenue grew 7.5% to $729.6 million, also higher than industry estimates.
Fourth-quarter net income was $14 million compared with $90 million -- due to an increase operating income which was more than offset by an increase in miscellaneous expense.
Bernstein Research says ad revenue well outpaced viewership -- especially C3 ratings of 18-49 viewers in prime time, which sank 7% during the fourth-quarter period, but was 39% higher in December. (C3 ratings, are the average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time shifting).
Overall viewers dipped 3% in the quarter; improving 19% in December.
Todd Juenger, media analyst of Bernstein Research, says: “With continued scarcity of audience supply across the industry and more incremental original programming hours planned for 2017, we expect [AMC Networks] will reiterate their expectation of advertising revenue growth for 2017, despite the double-digit audience declines.”
Previously, advertising results had revenue down 10% in the third quarter 2016, up 29% in the second quarter 2016, and edging up 1% in the first quarter 2016.
AMC Networks international revenues were flat at $119 million.