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Lamar Advertising Co. (LAMR - Analyst Report) reported strong third-quarter 2013 results with earnings per share rising 46% to 19 cents from the year-earlier quarter. The robust year-over-year increase in earnings is primarily attributable to top-line improvement. The reported earnings marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Net revenue for the reported quarter increased 5.5% year over year to $323.2 million. The reported revenues marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $322 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the reported quarter was $147.6 million, up from $140.6 million in the comparable period last year.

At quarter-end, Lamar Advertising had 1,836 digital units in the air, compared with 1,785 units in the previous quarter. During the quarter, the company added 25 digital advertisements.

Cash Flow & Balance Sheet                      

Lamar Advertising had a liquidity of $425.7 million at the quarter-end, of which $243.0 million was available under its revolving senior credit facility and $182.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Free cash flow in the reported quarter was $87.8 million against $77.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Guidance

For the fourth quarter of 2013, management expects net revenue in the range of $314 million to $317 million, rising 0.5% to 1.5% on a pro forma basis.

Lamar Advertising has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other players in the industry worth considering include WPP plc (WPPGY - Analyst Report), Publicis Groupe SA (PUBGY) and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (CCO - Snapshot Report). All of these have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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