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Infinity Broadcasting Earnings Unchanged Despite Ad Growth

October 26, 2000|From Bloomberg News

NEW YORK — Infinity Broadcasting Corp., the No. 2 U.S. radio company, said third-quarter earnings were unchanged as taxes and other expenses increased. Cash flow rose 18% on higher advertising sales.

Net income was $111 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $111 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier, said Infinity, the radio and outdoor-advertising arm of Viacom Inc. Adjusted for acquisitions and sales, Infinity's operating cash flow, a key financial measure for broadcasting companies, rose to $473.2 million from $402 million, the parent company said.

Revenue at Infinity, home of the Howard Stern and Don Imus radio shows, rose 12% to an adjusted $1.04 billion, Viacom said. Infinity said it continues to benefit from demand for advertising on its stations and billboards in big U.S. cities.

"They have some of the best franchises in radio, and some of the best markets and management," said Bear, Stearns & Co. analyst Victor Miller, who rates Infinity shares a "buy."

Infinity had double-digit ad growth even with tough comparisons to a year earlier, when it benefited from strong advertising by Internet companies, said Chief Financial Officer Farid Suleman. The growth also came as the strong U.S. dollar hurt results overseas, where the New York-based company has some outdoor-advertising operations.

Infinity's per-share earnings reflect a 29% increase in average shares outstanding in the third quarter from a year earlier.

The company's earnings matched the 10-cent average estimate of five analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Infinity shares fell $1.50 to $29.75 in Wednesday's trading.

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