AMC Networks hit 9.5 million streaming subs for the first quarter of 2022, up from just over 9 million sequentially and in a newly-antsy streaming world, recommitted to its long-term goal of 20-25 million subs by 2025.
The company behind The Walking Dead universe said revenues nosed up 3% to $711 million; diluted EPS was $2.38 a share and operating income increased 3% to $175 million. Adjusted operating income dipped 11% to $211 million year-on-year compared on increased content, marketing and technology investments to drive streaming and digital.
Free cash swung to a negative $36 million from a positive $96 million.
The stock is off about 5% in midday trading.
Interim CEO Matt Blank (who stepped in for Josh Sapan last fall) will holding a conference call with investors at 10:30 am ET to discuss the numbers.
AMC Networks, he said, “had a solid first quarter performance, highlighted by 3% total company revenue growth and continued growth of our streaming portfolio to end the quarter with 9.5 million total subscribers. We continue to advance our differentiated strategy of offering streaming services that appeal to audiences with distinct affinities and passions, which is leading to strong consumer loyalty and low churn. 2022 is the biggest year of original programming in AMC Networks’ history and our content continues to break through, including the recent final season premiere of Better Call Saul, which drove record levels of subscriber acquisition for AMC+.”
“With our content cost advantages, our ability to super serve audiences, and our clear path to profitability by virtue of our unique strategy, we are reaffirming our full year 2022 financial outlook and our target of achieving 20 million to 25 million streaming subscribers in 2025 , as we continue to reconstitute our revenue mix and as we remain focused on profitability.”
AMC reaffirmed full year 2022 financial outlook of low-single digit total company revenue growth, adjusted operating Income approximately approximately 10% lower than full year 2021 with increased content, marketing and technology investments, and free cash flow of $100 million
Highlights for the quarter:
-Greenlit AMC+ and AMC original series including The Walking Dead Universe’s Isle of the Dead, starring Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Straight man, starring Bob Odenkirk, The Driverstarring Giancarlo Esposito, and Orphan Black: Echoes
-Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches has cast Alexandra Daddario, Harry Hamlin and Jack Huston as lead characters, in the second series from the Anne Rice universe of best selling novels the company acquired in 2020
-Reinvented IFC Films’ Pay 1 window to offer exclusive movies on AMC+, every Friday, beginning May 6th
-Developing new FAST channels including AMC en Español, ALLBLK Gems, HIDIVE x ANIME, Shorts, Cortos, and OVERTIME
-Debuted the industry’s first national linear addressable advertising campaign, with Amazon, across our full slate of original programming on AMC and WEtv
– Launched the AMC+ premium streaming bundle in India on Apple TV Channels