AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) Volatility Spurs A Quest For Clarity

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    ClearBridge Investments LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:AMCX). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Communication Services company by 7.10% to 5.73 million shares with purchase of 0.38 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 14.13% valued currently at $134.01 million. In addition, The Vanguard Group, Inc. raised its holdings by 66868.0 to 4.06 million shares. And Shapiro Capital Management LLC has lifted its position by 4.28% or 0.12 million shares – to 2.87 million shares.

    With over 1.06 million AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) shares trading Thursday and a closing price of $26.32 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $27.8 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 12.67% and its price on 07/16/20 gained nearly 2.81%. Currently, there are 55.48M common shares owned by the public and among those 38.47M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 18 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for AMCX have a consensus price objective of $26.19. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $34.00 and a low of $19.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the AMC Networks Inc. stock is 3.10 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 2.59% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -38.53% over that period. But an upside of 22.59% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $26.50.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 53 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 26 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 400,795 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 27 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 191,155 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in AMC Networks Inc. are ClearBridge Aggressive Growth Fun, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF. ClearBridge Aggressive Growth Fun owns 2.85 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $66.71 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 1050.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 1.2 million shares valued at over $28.06 million and representing 2.96% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF now owns shares totaling to 2.70% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) opened at $25.70, up $0.1 from a prior closing price of $25.60. However, the script later closed the day at $26.32, up 2.81%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 12.67% and 13.45% over the past three months. AMCX shares are trading -33.37% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -52.29% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $19.62 and touched a high of $56.89 over the same period. Currently, 1.06 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.13 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 7.58%, -2.55%, and -21.73% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) 55.48M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 51.51%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 53.38% and 162.20% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $1.31B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.93. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 4.89, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $5.38. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 6.29% over the week and 6.28% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) will achieve an EPS of $1.24 for the current quarter, $1.53 for the next quarter and $6.43 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.93 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.91. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $2.6 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -13.80%, and 15.43% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of -12.20% over the next five years, compared to 13.00% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 18 brokerage firm advisors rate AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) as a “Hold” at a consensus score of 3.10. Specifically, 3 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 12 of the 18 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the AMCX, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Goldman stated their Sell rating for the stock in a research note on July 13, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $19. RBC Capital Mkts coverage for the AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) stock in a research note released on April 28, 2020 offered a Outperform rating with a price target of $27. Imperial Capital was of a view on February 27, 2020 that the stock is In-line, while Imperial Capital gave the stock In-line rating on February 25, 2020, issuing a price target of $35. Imperial Capital on their part issued Underperform rating on November 25, 2019.

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