The absence of a blockbuster concert tour in its first quarter restrained earnings growth at
, the country's biggest radio station owner.
While radio advertising revenue rose to $795 million from $783 million in the quarter, revenue from concert ticket sales dipped to $438 million from $476 million, as tours by Billy Joel, Elton John and Crosby Stills & Nash goosed results in the year-ago quarter.
Clear Channel earned $71 million, or 12 cents a share, in the latest quarter, down from $90.3 million, or 15 cents a share, last year. The year-ago quarter included gains from the sale of a television license and debt retirement; excluding those, it earned $73 million, or 12 cents a share.
The company's other main business, billboard advertising, posted first-quarter revenue of $451 million, up from $369 million last year. The gain primarily reflected acquisitions and the favorable impact of a weak dollar.
Clear Channel had pro forma earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $373 million, up 3% from $364 million last year. The company said it's currently difficult to predict advertising trends, but said it expects overall EBITDA to be slightly up or slightly down in the second quarter.