Lamar Advertising reported a $6.8 million quarterly loss and forecast a 15% drop in first-quarter revenues as companies pulled back on spending in the midst of a global financial crisis. The outdoor advertising company said it expects revenue for the first quarter to be $246 million. Analysts on average were projecting revenue of $256 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Baton Rouge-based Lamar lost 8 cents per share in the fourth quarter, compared with a net income of $4.5 million, or 5 cents a share, in the last three months of 2007. The loss was worse than the 7 cents a share that analysts had predicted.
Net revenue for the quarter fell 8% to $279.3 million, compared with the $304.9 million the company brought in during the end of 2007. For the year, revenues were down 0.9% from $1.21 billion in 2007 to $1.2 billion in 2008. Lamar stock briefly dipped below $6 a share this morning. A year ago, it closed at $42.71 a share.