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The Walking Dead, Chellomedia Give AMC a Boost

NEW YORK (TheStreet) AMC Networks (AMCX - Get Report) shares can thank Rick, Carl, Darryl, a whole slew of zombies and the rest of The Walking Dead for the recent jump in the share price. According to one analyst, there may be more to slay in the future than just zombies.

Following the late 2013 merger of AMC with Chellomedia, Topeka Capital Markets analyst David Miller boosted his price target on AMC shares, going to $87 from $78, noting that the acquisition is "superaccretive" for AMC and its shareholders. Miller notes that there's likely going to be some "'messiness' related to amortization of intangible assets associated with the deal later this year." Miller has a "buy" rating on shares.

Over the past four weeks, shares of AMC have gained 26.2%, outpacing the gain in the NASDAQ.

AMC shares finished lower in Friday trading, losing 0.35% to close at $77.13.

AMCX ChartAMCX data by YCharts

The recent run in shares coincides with the return of The Walking Dead, AMC's popular zombie apoocalypse show. The show has been a ratings juggernaut, with the first episode of the fourth season, which aired on Oct. 13, 2013, garnering 16.11 million viewers.

AMC has split up the fourth season into two half-seasons, with the show returning on Feb. 9, 2014, after the half-season finale premiered on Dec. 1, 2013. The Dec. 1 show captured the attention of 12.05 million viewers, with an additional 3.71 million viewers tuning in for the Feb. 9 episode.

Despite the jump to 15.76 million viewers for the half-season return, numbers have been steadily falling for The Walking Dead, but have still provided a big boost in viewers for the network overall. In addition to The Walking Dead, set in post-apocalyptic Georgia, AMC airs a recap show, Talking Dead, which garners around 3 million viewers a week to discuss the events of that night's episode.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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