Multimedia monster Clear Channel Communications
While better than it looked in some ways, the numbers show that the firm has yet to vanquish its lurking monster: flagging ad sales on the airwaves. Overall revenues of $2.6 billion were up 4% over last year's Q3, but radio revs were flat. Outdoor advertising, the No. 2 revenue source, climbed 11%, but the segment's expenses climbed nearly as much. The final problem: Without a $50 million gain on favorable foreign exchange, revenues would actually have been lower than in the prior-year period.
Earnings of $0.44 per share were 16% better than the showing last year if you discount the Univision windfall. One reason earnings growth is outrunning revenues is that the firm continues to buy back shares aggressively. There are 30 million fewer shares this year than last.
What's the problem for radio advertising? Could it be that my Foolish colleague Rick Munarriz is right? Are sat radio's dynamic duo, XM Satellite Radio
Will it be enough to turn the ship around? Tune in a couple of quarters from now to find out.
For related Foolishness:
- Some Fools are quite serious about Stern. Others see a billion-dollar sex joke.
- Last quarter, Clear Channel thought less might be more.
- Are skies getting any clearer for this outfit?