UPDATE, 5:48 AM: Cancelled series Low Winter Sun and The Killing were responsible for the writedown, CEO Josh Sapan told analysts in a conference call. “We were not happy with the performance of Low Winter Sun,” he says.
PREVIOUS, 4:25 AM: It will be interesting to see whether investors consider the pay TV networks company’s Q4 results a glass half full, or empty. It reported net income of nearly $35M, +130.2% vs the last three months of 2012, on revenues of $435.2M, +18.7%. The top line comfortably beat the $418.9M that analysts expected. But earnings at 49 cents a share missed forecasts for 77 cents. The results include a $52M charge “related to the write-off of programming assets.” (For some reason AMC Networks doesn’t identify them in this AM’s release.) The charge tarnished the otherwise apparently strong results at the main National Networks unit that includes AMC, WEtv, IFC, and SundanceTV. Helped by The Walking Dead‘s midseason finale, it reported a 19.3% increase in revenues, to $404M, with adjusted operating cash flow of $105.6M, -1%. Ad sales increased 30.9% to $205M while payments from pay TV distributors rose 9.4% to $199M. Meanwhile, the International and Other operation, which includes overseas channels and IFC Films, saw revenues rise 7% to $34.9M with cash flow losses increasing 90.9% to $8.2M — including fees from its agreement in October to pay $1B for Liberty Global’s European networks company Chellomedia. The deal closed early this month. CEO Josh Sapan says the purchase is “part of a long-term strategy to expand internationally.”