AMC Networks Seen as Potential Target for Viacom, Time Warner

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A number of media companies may consider buying AMC Networks (AMCX), research firm Topeka wrote in a note to investors earlier today. AMC Networks owns and operates a number of cable TV channels, including its flagship, which broadcasts the popular "Walking Dead" series.

WHAT'S NEW: A number of media companies may consider acquiring AMC, Topeka analyst David Miller theorized in a note to investors earlier today. The recent acquisitions of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and DirecTV (DTV), by Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T) respectively, are likely to make media companies more interested in acquiring AMC, Miller believes. Those deals increase the bargaining power of content buyers and could create headaches for content suppliers if the latter fail to respond, according to Miller, who believes several content providers are considering responding by buying AMC. The most likely suitors for AMC are the largest media companies that are upbeat on the outlook for overseas growth, wrote the analyst. Miller noted that AMC last year bought Chellomedia, which, as of February 2013, developed content for channels that were distributed to more than 390M households in 138 countries. Viacom (VIAB), Time Warner (TWX), Discovery (DISCA), Scripps Networks (SNI), and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) are the most likely suitors for AMC, the analyst indicated. All of those media companies operate cable channels as their core business and all of them have sought to grow by expanding overseas, according to Miller. The analyst kept an $87 price target and Buy rating on AMC Networks.

PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, AMC Networks shares were virtually unchanged at $60.70. Reporting by Larry Ramer.

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