AMC Looks To Buyout 200 Staffers In Effort To Cut Costs
AMC networks is telling staffers that it is aiming to cut about 200 positions through buyouts in an effort to lower long term costs.
AMC has felt a growing pressure to cut costs as their slate of original programming has boomed in recent years but delivering an unclear return in the ratings. Most concerning is the apparent beginning of fading for AMC's brightest star, The Walking Dead. AMC's stock price has declined nearly 24% so far in 2016 and more than 33% in the last 12 months.
Second year programs Better Call Saul and Fear the Walking Dead have both dropped in ratings with new series Preacher and Feed the Beast delivering disappointing numbers by the network's standards.
"We do not see any near-term catalysts to resolve these concerns, and, in fact, would expect further declines in The Walking Dead ratings this fall to exacerbate the issue," UBS Securities' Doug Mitchelson said in a Friday report where he went on to downgrade AMC shares to "sell."
Another cause for concern for AMC is that the network likely won't be streamed live on Hulu beginning early next year.
On the more optimistic side, Macquarie Capital's Tim Nollen says the ratings don't reflect how often people watch AMC's shows on time-shift viewings, especially when competing with the NBA Finals and Game of Thrones as they did in the spring of this year.
As for Hulu, "AMC's fan base, broadening viewership and relatively low per-sub fees may earn" a place in the line-up, Nollen says.