Shares of

Hearst-Argyle Television

(HTV)

were up 2% after the company said stronger-than-expected advertising revenue has caused it to raise its previous third-quarter guidance. The company now expects earnings to be 6 cents to 8 cents higher than analyst predictions.

By midday, shares were up 44 cents at $21.09 on the

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New York Stock Exchange

.

The company previously predicted EPS of 16 cents to 18 cents, up from last year's 7 cents, but now expects EPS of 23 cents to 25 cents for the quarter, which ends Sept. 30. The analyst earnings consensus was for earnings of 17 cents a share. The quarter's results will be announced Oct. 30.

The company now expects revenue to be 18%-20% higher than last year's $145.2 million. Previously, the company had predicted 11%-13% growth.

Analysts predict the company will earn 33 cents a share for its fourth quarter and 98 cents for the year.

Increased spending commitments in the auto, movies and financial advertisement categories has helped Hearst-Argyle come out of its post-Sept. 11 slump. The company also hopes its 2002 electoral news coverage, beginning in October, will help the company's overall results.