Why AMC Networks Stock Plunged Today

Shares of AMC Networks (AMCX -16.08%) were falling today after the company reported a sharp decline in revenue as it continues to struggle with the transition to streaming, and it missed estimates on the bottom line for the fourth quarter.

As of 2:18 p.m. ET, the stock was down 15.1%.

A hand holding a remote control in front of a smart TV.

Image source: Getty Images.

AMC is still getting left behind

Revenue in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 fell 29.6% to $678.8 million, which was slightly better than the consensus at $676 million.

In its domestic operations, revenue fell by 32.4% to $581.7 million, with a 35% decline to $423 million due to cord-cutting and related challenges.

Streaming revenue rose just 4% to $145 million, as streaming subscribers increased just 1% to 11.4 million.

On the bottom line, adjusted operating income fell 27% to $100.3 million, and the company finished the quarter with adjusted earnings per share of $0.72, down sharply from the $2.52 it reported in the quarter a year ago and missing estimates at $0.89.

CEO Kristin Dolan overlooked those challenges, saying, “In the fourth quarter and across 2023, we continued to see success in the areas that will drive this company forward — programming, partnerships, and profitability.”

Is AMC the Walking Dead?

It’s been a rough few years for AMC Networks, which owns networks such as Sundance, IFC, and BBC America, as the company has had limited success with its streaming service and can do little to stop the decline in the number of cable subscribers.

Looking ahead to 2024, the company sees revenue declining to 11.5% to $2.4 billion, which was worse than the consensus at $2.63 billion. Management expects streaming growth of high single digits to low double digits, which is not enough to counteract the headwinds in linear TV.

An acquisition may be the best way out for AMC Networks, as it seems difficult for the entertainment stock to now pivot to a crowded streaming market.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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