Shares of AMC Networks Inc. were indicated up nearly 3% in premarket trade Thursday, after cable TV station operator reported first-quarter profit and sales that rose well above expectations. Net income increased to $156.9 million, or $2.54 a share, from $136.2 million, or $1.98 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $2.65, up from $2.10 and above the FactSet consensus of $2.20. The company said the increase in adjusted EPS was due primarily to a decrease in income tax expense and a less shares outstanding. Revenue rose 2.9% to $740.8 million, beating the FactSet consensus of $721.9 million, as the 2.9% growth in national networks revenue to $633.0 million topped expectations of $614.0 million. “Our content continues to break through in a cluttered environment, with recent series including BBC AMERICA’s “Killing Eve,” IFC’s “Brockmire,” and AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” and “The Terror” drawing wide critical acclaim and strong viewership, and our streaming services, Sundance Now and Shudder, continue to gain traction with consumers,” said Chief Executive Josh Sapan. The stock has gained 4.3% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.0%.