AMC Networks Inc., the media company whose programs include “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” slid on its first day of trading after being spun off from Cablevision Systems Corp.
AMC fell $3.65, or 8.4 percent, to $39.85 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. AMC rose 24 percent from June 17 to June 30 while trading on a “when issued” basis.
“It’s very hard to figure out what the company is worth because they’re not giving guidance and it’s been part of Cablevision for quite a while,” John Tinker, senior media analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York, said in an interview. Tinker downgraded his rating on the shares to “hold” from “buy” given the stock’s increase over the past two weeks.
AMC could be a takeover target for other media companies or private equity firms, said Tom Eagan, an analyst at Collins Stewart LLC in New York. The prospect of a possible acquisition may lead to “the potential for a premium” over the company’s financial fundamentals, he said.
“A larger media company with a bigger ad sales force could probably take advantage of AMC,” said Eagan, who predicted a takeover could occur in 2012 at the earliest.
Time Warner Inc., Viacom Inc., Walt Disney Co. and News Corp. all own TV networks with scripted dramas, similar to the kind of original programming from AMC.
The New York-based company, formerly known as Rainbow Media, owns television channels IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel, and AMC, which airs the Emmy-award winning “Mad Men” about the 1960s New York advertising industry. Cablevision is focusing on its cable-systems business and last year spun off Madison Square Garden Co., owner of the New York arena and sports teams.
Charles Dolan will serve as executive chairman of AMC while maintaining his role as chairman of Cablevision.
AMC also owns independent movie distributor IFC Films, AMC/Sundance Channel Global, an international programming business, and distribution unit AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology. As part of the spinoff, AMC Networks completed its previously announced financing of about $2.43 billion of new debt, the company said in a statement.
Cablevision rose 63 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $25.96 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares are up 9.6 percent this year.