National CineMedia Shares Fall On 2Q Outlook

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of National CineMedia Inc. fell Wednesday after the seller of in-theater advertising issued second-quarter revenue guidance below analysts' expectations.

National CineMedia shares fell $2.73, or 18.5 percent, to $12 in afternoon trading. The stock has ranged from $4.79 to $20.61 over the past year.

Late Tuesday, the Centennial, Colo.-based company reported a first-quarter profit of 3 cents per share ¿ in line with estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters ¿ and revenue above Wall Street projections.

But while the company said that it still expects 2009 revenue to be essentially flat year over year, it predicted second-quarter revenue of $84 million to $87 million. Analysts expect revenue $91.3 million.

In a client note, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst James Dix kept his $13 price target and "Hold" rating for the stock. Dix pointed out that the company had raised its first-quarter outlook and then beat it, so it could see similar late-booking trends in the second quarter that would lead it to beat its current outlook.

"We believe local trends should improve, in part due to better second-quarter box-office trends," he said.

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