Hispanic Broadcasting ( HSP) said Friday that fourth-quarter earnings were in line with Wall Street's projections and flat with year-ago totals, citing weaker revenue growth and increased spending. The Spanish-language radio broadcaster said it earned $11.1 million, or 10 cents a share, slightly ahead of the $11 million, or 10 cents a share, the company earned in the year-ago period. Four analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 10 cents. Net revenue rose 9.7% to $61.4 million. Shares of Hispanic Broadcasting, which is based in Dallas, gained $1.02, or 4.3%, to $24.96 in recent New York Stock Exchange trading. For the first quarter of 2001, the company projected revenue growth of 4% and 7%. The company said operating results in the quarter will be affected by soft demand for advertising, higher costs from efforts to strengthen its sales staff and station ratings, as well as higher operating losses at HBC Interactive, the company's online media unit, and two new start-up operations in San Antonio. Analysts expect the company to earn 5 cents in the first quarter, unchanged from a year ago.
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