Lamar Profits Fall Short of Projections

ATLANTA Lamar Advertising, the nation’s third-largest outdoor ad company, posted a profit in the second quarter but missed analysts estimates for the period.

Earnings reached $8.9 million, about 8 cents per share, on total revenue of $226.9 million during the quarter, up from a loss of $2.2 million, or 2 cents per share, on total revenue of $208.2 million during the same quarter last year, according to the company’s quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 10 cents per share during the quarter, according to Thomson First Call.

For the first six months of this year, Lamar earned $6.2 million, or 2 cents per share, on total revenue of $427.9 million. During the first six months of last year, the company lost $34.7 million, or 34 cents a share, on total revenue of $392.4 million.

Lamar, based in Baton Rouge, La., owns about 147,000 billboards in 43 states. It also operates public transit advertising franchises in 14 states and maintains more than 98,000 of the green exit signs along freeways that bear the logos of companies with locations at the exits. Only Clear Channel Communications and Infinity Broadcasting have larger outdoor advertising operations than Lamar.

The value of the Lamar’s stock fell more than 3 percent Wednesday to close at $43.11 per share. The company’s stock continued to drop Thursday with shares trading at $40.84 each, down more than 5 percent from Wednesday’s close, in mid-afternoon trading.