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What: Shares of AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) were getting dumped today, falling as much as 14% after coming up short in its earnings report.

So what: The parent of cable networks including its namesake, WE, IFC, and Sundance said per-share profits from continuing operations fell 48% from $0.40 a year ago to $0.21. That figure badly missed analyst estimates of $0.66 a share. Ad sales grew 16%, overall revenue was up 8%, and the company took some charges related to a lawsuit with DISH Network. The quarter also included a $10.8 million charge for extinguishment of debt.

Now what: In the report, CEO Josh Sapan noted the company's investments in its programming, resolution of the DISH lawsuit, and the particular success of The Walking Dead. Today's report was a big earnings miss, but revenue was essentially in line with expectations, indicating that surprise cost increases ate into profits, investments that should translate into greater profits down the road. I don't expect today's report to be a pattern.

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Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.