AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX)

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AMC Networks (AMCX)

Q1 2014 Earnings Call

May 08, 2014 8:30 am ET


Seth Zaslow - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Joshua W. Sapan - Chief Executive Officer and President

Sean S. Sullivan - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Edward A. Carroll - Chief Operating Officer


Bryan Goldberg - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Michael Nathanson - MoffettNathanson LLC

Michael C. Morris - Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Research Division

Ryan Fiftal - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Vasily Karasyov - Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., Research Division

Benjamin E. Mogil - Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Research Division

Anthony J. DiClemente - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Alan S. Gould - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division



Good morning. My name is Christie, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the AMC Networks First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to Seth Zaslow, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Seth Zaslow

Thank you. Good morning, and welcome to the AMC Networks First Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. Joining us this morning are members of our executive team: Josh Sapan, President and Chief Executive Officer; Ed Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; and Sean Sullivan, Chief Financial Officer.

Following a discussion of the company's first quarter 2014 results, we will open the call for questions. If you don't have a copy of today's earnings release, it is available on our website at This call can also be accessed via our website.

Please take note of the following. Today's discussion may contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of the future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. Please refer to the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of risks and uncertainties. The company disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements that may be discussed during this call. Further, we will discuss non-GAAP financial information. We believe the presentation of non-GAAP results provides you with useful supplemental information concerning the company's ongoing operations and is appropriate in your evaluation of the company's performance. Please refer to the press release and related footnotes for GAAP information and a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP information, which we'll refer to on this call.

Lastly, following the closing of the Chellomedia acquisition in the first quarter, the company reorganized its operating segments. The results of AMC and Sundance Channel in Canada, as well as AMC Networks' Broadcasting & Technology are now included in the National Networks operating segment. Previously, these operations were included in the International and Other operating segment. The reorganization had no impact on the historical consolidated financial results previously reported by the company.

With that, I would now like to turn the call over to Josh.

Joshua W. Sapan

Good morning, and thank you for joining us. I'll provide an update on the business and then turn it over to Sean Sullivan for some greater financial detail.

Now we started the year off with a strong quarter and the fundamentals of our business are healthy. In the first quarter, the company reported 37% growth in revenue and 11% growth in AOCF. These amounts include the results for Chellomedia for the last 2 months of the quarter. If one were to exclude the results for Chellomedia, our revenue growth would have been in excess of 20% and our AOCF growth would not have moved meaningfully from the 11%.

The performance of our business continues to be led significantly by the success of our original programming. At AMC, we had several shows that are working quite well, the most notable being The Walking Dead. That show, which included its fourth season, continues to break records for basic cable TV and remains the #1 program for all of television broadcast and cable in the key adult 18 to 49 demo.

For the season, viewership in key demos increased over 20% compared to the prior season. Mad Men, one of the most critically acclaimed shows in the history of TV, returned in April for the first of its 2 remaining years. We're quite pleased with the live plus same day ratings averaging around 2 million viewers per episode season-to-date. On what's called Live+3 or Live+7 basis, we've seen increases of up to an over 100% delivery, indicating that viewing patterns are evolving and that Mad Men continues to have extraordinary strength and vitality.

AMC's newest series, Turn, about America's first spy ring that takes place during the Revolutionary War, premiered in April to strong reviews and has been performing quite well through its now 5 episodes. We have several new series that will air later this year. Halt & Catch Fire, a story about the rise of the PC era in the early 1980s in what was called Silicon Prairie in Texas, is coming in June to the network; and Better Call Saul, which is a spinoff of Breaking Bad, is scheduled to premiere in November.

Beyond 2014, we have 2 pilots now in production. The first is Knifeman, a story about medicine in 19th century England, which we think is an intriguing backdrop with great characters. The second is called Galyntine from Ridley Scott's, Scott Free Productions. It's a post-apocalyptic view of the world where society has been organized very differently from how we know it today. We also have several additional projects in development, including a companion series to the Walking Dead and another series based on the graphic novel Preacher that is to be executive produced by Seth Rogen.

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