The Walking Dead continues to be one of the top-rated shows on television for parent AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX). Can it keep drawing new viewers? What about the business? Breaking Bad is already finished and Mad Men is nearly done. Investors betting on the stock now are betting on an uncertain future.
Fool analysts Tim Beyers and Nathan Alderman debate the pros and cons of owning AMC in the latest episode of Geekstock, The Motley Fool's new web show, in which Tim, Nathan, and host Ellen Bowman introduce you to the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Nathan argues that AMC's shareholder-unfriendly dual-class structure makes owning the stock too risky, even when you consider the growing value of properties such as The Walking Dead. Executive Chairman Charles Dolan and his family members control 100% of the Class B shares that account for 75% of voting rights on all matters pertaining to AMC's management.
Debt is also an issue, Nathan says. Nearly $2.17 billion of it sits on AMC's books as of this writing. Tim counters that AMC has a history of paying off its obligations. The company also tends to produce at least $1 billion in annual cash flow after accounting for working capital changes, and is refinancing some of its near-term debt via a massive $2 billion package for financing its acquisition of Chellomedia. Ratings agency Moody's has classified the deal a net positive for AMC.
Mix in a disciplined approach to finding and funding new programs -- of which more than 60 are already in varying stages of development, including a spinoff of The Walking Dead -- and Tim says AMC is well-positioned to profit from our increasing appetite for edgy cable programming.
After watching the video, it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. What do you think of AMC's programming slate? Do you own the stock, and if you don't, would you buy, sell, or short at current prices?
Please watch the video as Ellen shows off some sweet holiday schwag from ThinkGeek while putting Tim and Nathan on the spot, and be sure to check back here often for more Geekstock segments.
Neither Ellen Bowman nor Nathan Alderman owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Tim Beyers owned shares of Walt Disney and Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends AMC Networks, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.