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Lawsuit Settlement Helps Drive AMC Profits

Operating income up by $41 million

Boosted by its settlement with Dish Network, operating income from AMC Networks more than doubled last quarter to $137 million, up from $41 million in the same period last year.

Net revenues at networks IFC, AMC, WeTV and the Sundance Channel rose 15.8% to $379 million, up from $327 million in the second quarter of last year.

“Our original programming continues to fuel the performance of our networks and underpin the Company’s growth,” AMC president and COO Josh Sapan said in a statement Thursday.

In October, AMC settled a lawsuit with Dish Network over now-defunct satellite service VOOM that contributed $133 million to the former’s bottom line.

But even with its settlement, AMC slightly missed some expectations, with some analysts having projected higher EBITDA margins (Ben Mogil of Stifel wrote that AMC’s EBITDA margin of 41% missed his projection by 1%).

AMC execs also hailed its original programming initiatives including “Walking Dead” during a call with analysts Thursday morning.

“We hope that zombies really do live either forever, or for (a) decade,” president and CEO Josh Sapan joked during the call.

But all jokes aside, AMC EVP and CFO Sean Sullivan said that “viewer migration from broadcast to cable continues to benefit amc,” and that this year’s upfronts marked the first time that AMC sold ad inventory for all four networks at one time.

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