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Lamar Advertising's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

With that I would like to turn the call over to Keith Istre to give you some color regarding Q4.

Keith Istre

All right, good morning, everybody. For the fourth quarter of ’11 we saw that the revenue came in slightly higher than our guidance at 4%. No one category contributed to that. Sean will get into more detail later, but it was a good quarter across the board. On our consolidated expenses on the last call, we talked about expenses running like they have all year in approximately the 2% range, but the consolidated expenses as you saw came in at 0.7 tenths of a percent. The main contributor to that downward or that decreased amount, was primary the bonuses that were paid to the officers throughout the corporation. In 2011, the officer core took less in bonus payments then they did in 2010 based on performance grids, and so in the fourth quarter we accrued approximately $2 million less for officer bonuses then we did last year. So that’s primarily what contributed to that.

EBITDA. You saw our margins were 43.7% for the quarter versus 41.8% last year. So we picked up a couple of points. To recap, the full year revenue growth on a pro forma basis was 3.3%, our consolidated expense growth was 2.4%, which is about what we guided to last year at this time. EBITDA was up 4.6% for the year and EBITDA margins were 43% for 2011 versus 42.4% last year.

On the guidance for 2012 Q1, we gave you a number for revenue up approximately 3% on a pro forma basis. For the expenses for 2012 we will tell you that as of right now our projections for the year are up approximately 3%, slightly higher than they were in 2011. But the expenses for the first quarter will be higher than what they will average for the year, in fact we are expecting pro forma expense growth in Q1 of ’12 of approximately 5%. And a part of that is real and part of it is timing.

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