AMC Shares Rise After ‘The Walking Dead’ Helps Fuel Earnings

AMC Networks Inc., the cable-TV company spun out of Cablevision Systems Corp. in June, rose 2.2 percent after better ratings helped first-quarter profit top analysts’ estimates.

Net income from continuing operations was 60 cents a share in the period, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Analysts had projected 45 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock also was raised to a buy recommendation from a neutral rating by David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak & Co.

AMC shares climbed to $40.50 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 7.8 percent this year.

The company’s networks posted ratings gains in the first quarter, helping fuel advertising revenue, Chief Executive Officer Josh Sapan said in the statement. AMC zombie drama “The Walking Dead” ended its second season with 9 million viewers, up 50 percent from a year earlier, he said. “Mad Men,” a show about New York advertising executives in the 1960s, is having its best-rated season, he said.

First-quarter revenue increased almost 20 percent to $326 million from a year earlier, the company said.