Wall Street is Worried About 'The Walking Dead' Ratings

Wall Street is Worried About 'The Walking Dead' Ratings

AMC is still valiantly hoping that it can create a multimedia/multi-series empire out of The Walking Dead. Investors, however, are noticing that the network's flagship series has lost two thirds of its audience since it was the hottest thing on TV. Could the slow death of TWD also mean the end of AMC? Read on for details.

Via Deadline.

Shares in AMC Networks have sagged more than 10% over the past week as Wall Street analysts scrutinize The Walking Dead and what the sizable ratings decline for its ninth-season premiere says about the company’s prospects.

Goldman Sachs downgraded AMC to a sell from a neutral rating late last week, and yesterday the stock fell more than 7% after the premiere numbers were released. Today, on a brutal day on Wall Street, AMC Networks stock closed at $57.65, down nearly 4%, on above-average trading volume.

Ratings for Sunday’s episode tumbled 47% in total viewers and 50% in the 18-49 demo compared with last year’s premiere, returning the show to viewership levels last seen in 2011.

Today, another caution flag on AMC was thrown by Guggenheim’s Michael Morris, who cut his 12-month price target to $58 from $60 and lowered estimates for advertising revenue. Morris retains his neutral rating on the company.

AMC stock entered Wednesday at $59.96, the first time it has dipped below $60 since July. In 2018 to date, though, they have gained almost 15%.

In his report, Morris noted not only the ratings decline for TWD but also the disconcerting reality that, as he puts it, “the live television audience continues to age.” He estimates 18-49 viewership comprised 53% of the total audience on Sunday, down from 55% on average for Season 8 and 66% over Season 3 in 2012-13.

Get the rest of the story at Deadline.

Do you think TWD could drag down the entire AMC network? Let us know in the comments below.