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AirMedia Group Shares Fall On Slower 3Q Growth

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ¿ Shares of AirMedia Group Inc., which runs digital ads at airports and on airplanes, fell Tuesday after saying that its third-quarter revenue growth will slow down.

The Beijing-based company is forecasting revenue of $37 million to $40 million for the quarter, below Wall Street analysts' average estimate of $44.1 million in sales, as compiled by Thomson Reuters. The outlook was part of its second-quarter earnings report late Monday.

AirMedia lost $7 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with a year-ago profit of $7.3 million, or 11 cents per share. The company said higher costs to place more traditional ads like billboards led to the loss, and such expenses are not expected to ease this year.

Sales rose 24 percent to $36.8 million from $29.8 million in the year-ago period. Both earnings and sales exceeded analysts' expectations.

On Tuesday, Sterne Agee analyst James Lee cut his revenue forecasts and widened his loss estimates for the company. He noted that AirMedia expected a 5 percent sequential revenue growth in the third quarter, but Wall Street was forecasting 22 percent.

Lee reduced his 2009 sales outlook to $148.1 million from $155.7 million and his loss per share estimate widened to 34 cents from 25 cents. For 2010, the sales forecast fell to $206.3 million from $216.4 million and the loss widened to 18 cents per share from a penny per share.

Shares of AirMedia fell by 50 cents, or 7.1 percent, to $6.50 in midday trading.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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