Originally created 10/31/06

Higher expenses reduce earnings



SAN ANTONIO - Clear Channel Communications Inc., which is examining whether to sell all or parts of itself, said Monday third-quarter earnings fell 9.5 percent, but the largest operator of radio stations in the country managed higher-than-expected profits and revenues.

Clear Channel said net income fell to $185.9 million, or 38 cents per share, for the three months ending Sept. 30 from $205.5 million, or 38 cents per share, last year, which included profit of $33.6 million from discontinued operations.

Analysts were looking for earnings of 37 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue gained 7 percent to $1.79 billion from $1.68 billion last year, exceeding Wall Street's average estimate of $1.78 billion. Radio revenue rose 5 percent on higher selling prices for national advertising.

Revenue from Clear Channel Outdoor, which sells advertising on billboards and bus stops, rose 8 percent over the year-ago period, or 6 percent excluding foreign exchange movements. Outdoor revenues, mostly from bulletins and airports, grew 12 percent in the company's Americas segment.

Outdoor revenues grew 4 percent internationally, the company said, with declines in billboard revenues in France and the United Kingdom offset by growth in revenues from street furniture, such as bus shelters.

Operating expenses rose at each of the company's divisions, with the total increasing 5 percent to $1.16 billion.