AMC Networks shares are down about 2% in pre-market trading after the cable networks company reported Q4 results that fell short of the Street’s expectations — and included an $18M write-off of an unnamed programming asset. AMC generated net income of $29.5M, up 52.7% vs the same period last year, on revenues of nearly $339M, up 13.6%. The revenue figure beat the $327.9M that analysts forecast. But earnings from continuing operations, at 42 cents a share, were  well below the 59 cents that investors expected. AMC says that the unexplained write-down as well as rising programming and marketing expenses contributed to the miss. Revenue from pay TV operators was up 10%, and advertising grew 14.7%, for AMC’s national networks — which include AMC, WE tv, IFC, and Sundance Channel. Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Vasily Karasyov says that he expected ad sales to rise 18%. CEO Josh Sapan says that 2011 was a “landmark year” following its spin-off from Cablevision. “As we look at the year ahead, we are well positioned to conintue this momentum and will maintain our focus on creating value for shareholders, advertisers and distribution partners.”

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