AMC Networks posted a 1.4% rise in fourth-quarter advertising revenue -- well above expectations. At the same time, it saw declining distribution revenue, coming in below estimates.
Todd Bernstein, media analyst for Bernstein Research, says much of its advertising gain came from surprisingly higher viewing for its Thanksgiving through Christmas holiday movies.
Total AMC Networks revenue was up 6.3% to $773 million. National U.S. networks advertising’s 1.4% hike resulted in $272 million. Media analysts estimates were that the TV network group would sink 9%.
At the same time, distribution revenues had 5.1% decline yielding $320 million; media analysts were expecting around flat to slightly up results.
AMC stated to analysts that the fall came from a drop in content licensing revenues partially -- but there was an increase in subscription revenue. The cabler didn’t go into specifics.
Total national network revenue was down 2.2% $592.7 million; international networks rose nearly 50% to $188.4 million.
For the 2018 year, total AMC Networks revenue climbed 6% to $2.97 billion. Advetrising revenues sank 1.6% to $945 million for the year. Net income from continuing operations sank 50% to $72 million. There was a $43 million restructuring charge in the quarter.
AMC Networks stock rose 4% in $66.12 in Thursday morning trading.
AMC recently signed a deal with TVision, a TV research and performance platform, which secures data using “eyes-on-the-screen” tracking technology.