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Can 'The Walking Dead' Continue To Bring AMC's Ratings To Life?

Manikandan Raman

David Miller of Loop Capital believes AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ: AMCX) should need a third "owned" hit similar to "The Walking Dead" series to revive its stock.

The comments come as AMC investors are concerned over the dramatic decline in "The Walking Dead" live ratings thus far in Season 7. According to a Bloomberg report, ratings for the TV station's long-running zombie show "The Walking Dead" is now 11 percent lower in the key demographic of young viewers, although it is still holds the title of the most watched TV series among the demographic.

The poor ratings also hit AMC stock, which has fallen 15 percent over the past year versus a 22 percent gain in the S&P 500 Index.

Miller, who has a Hold rating on the stock, said AMC needs another hit on par with "The Walking Dead," "WestWorld" or "Game of Thrones."

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Though Miller acknowledges Better Call Saul is certainly a hit, that series is owned by Sony Corp (ADR)(NYSE: SNE).

“Yes, AMCX currently owns original series 'Turn,' 'Humans,' and 'Into the Badlands,' but those three series, while garnering much critical acclaim, have proven to be too 'culty,' and have not proven to be catalysts for the stock,” Miller wrote in a note.

Meanwhile, AMC’s fourth-quarter adjusted EPS was $1.30 versus consensus of $1.28. Quarterly revenues came in at $729.6 million, beating Street view of at $712 million, driven by strong growth in domestic affiliate fees.

At last check, shares of AMC were up 0.87 percent to $60.36. Miller raised his price target by $2 to $56.

Latest Ratings for AMCX

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2017 Stifel Nicolaus Upgrades Hold Buy
Feb 2017 Deutsche Bank Initiates Coverage On Hold
Nov 2016 Albert Fried Downgrades Overweight Underweight

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