AMC Networks reported its fourth-quarter 2022 earnings Friday, two days after naming Kristin Dolan, wife of the company’s owner, James Dolan, its new CEO.
The company says it ended 2022 with 11.8 million paid streaming subscribers across all of its targeted streamers: AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK and HIDIVE. Those digital offerings are in addition to the company’s linear channels AMC, BBC America (a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC Films. That’s a slight increase of 700,000 customers from the end of Q3, when AMC Networks reported it had reached 11.1 million subs.
According to AMC Networks’ previously given guidance, the company anticipates getting halfway to its larger goal of having 20-25 million streaming subs in 2025 by the end of this year.
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Meanwhile, U.S. ad sales fell 12% in the quarter, which saw the end of AMC’s long-running zombie series “The Walking Dead,” a drama that already has multiple spinoffs either set up or soon to launch, and the debut of the first show in AMC’s next big TV universe: “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire.”
When former CFO Christina Spade stepped down from her short-held role as AMC Networks CEO in November, James Dolan announced the company would be undergoing significant layoffs. On Friday, AMC confirmed the related restructuring costs for Q4 at $449 million in total, including a content write-down of $403.8 million, as well as severance and other personnel costs of $45.2 million. Of total $449.0 million restructuring charge, the breakdown was $423.2 million related to domestic ops, $2.9 million for AMCNI, and $22.9 million attributed to corporate.
Domestic operations revenue was up 26% from the previous Q4. Content licensing increased 152% and subscription revenue was up 7%. Streaming revenue rose 41% and affiliate sales dropped 7.5%.
Turning to AMC’s “International and Other” segment — which includes AMC Networks International (its international programming business) and 25/7 Media (its production services business) — revenue decreased 12%. Distribution and “other” revenues fell 4% and ad sales dropped 33%.
Wall Street forecast earnings per share (EPS) of $1.2 on $947.8 million in revenue, according to analyst consensus data provided by Refinitiv. On Friday, AMC Networks reported a loss of $264.7 million, with adjusted earnings per share of $2.52 on $965 million in revenue, a 20% year-over-year increase in revenue.
Without those favorable, one-time adjustments for restructuring costs, the company took a loss of $6.11 per share, or an operating loss of $391.6 million.
Free cash flow stood at $128 million at the end of the 2022.
“AMC Networks is focused on maximizing the value of our high-quality, popular content through optimized content monetization as we reduce costs and drive cash flow,” AMC Networks interim executive chairman James Dolan said in a statement accompanying the financials. “We believe this approach will position the company well to navigate current industry dynamics and enable us to generate long-term shareholder value.”
On Friday, AMC Networks stock was up more than 7% after closing Thursday at $20.50 per share. The regular U.S. stock markets will reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.
AMC Networks executives will host a conference call at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.
More to come…