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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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