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Lamar Advertising Co Class A LAMR
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/27/2013

Operator: We now have Kevin Reilly, Sean Reilly, and Keith Istre in conference. Please be aware that each of your lines is in a listen-only mode. At the conclusion of the Company's presentation, we will open the floor for questions.

In the course of this discussion, Lamar may make forward-looking statements regarding the Company, including statements about its future financial performance, strategic goals and plans. All forward-looking statements including statements with respect to Lamar's consideration of an election of real estate investment trust status involve risks, uncertainties and contingencies many of which are beyond Lamar's control and which may cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Lamar has identified important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the call and the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K as updated by its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Lamar refers you to those documents.

Lamar's fourth quarter and year end 2012 earnings release, which contains information required by Regulation G regarding certain non-GAAP financial measures was furnished to the SEC on a Form 8-K this morning and is available on Lamar's website, www.lamar.com.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Kevin Reilly. Mr. Reilly, you may begin.

Kevin P. Reilly, Jr. - President and Chairman: Thank you, Shantelle. I want to welcome my friends to Lamar's Q4 call. As was announced, we filed our private letter with the IRS in November and we are awaiting word. Themes for 2013 are to continue to manage our balance sheet in anticipation of a REIT conversion to continue to manage the REIT conversion process in an orderly way and market informed as we cross certain milestones. And then lastly, try to operate our business smart in an environment where we still don't quite have the national economic wins at our back.

With that, I will go ahead and turn the call over to Keith Istre to walk us through some of the numbers.

Keith A. Istre - CFO: Okay, just to recap briefly the fourth quarter. You saw the operating performance, on the last call, we had guided to Q4 without the NextMedia acquisition which we closed October 31. As we posted in our press release, the pro forma revenue guidance growth for Q4 without Next was up 2.6%. EBITDA pro forma growth up 3.6% and our consolidated expenses for the quarter came in at up 1.8% and we had guided to approximate expense growth of between 1% and 2%.

For the full year, including Next for the two months that we owned in November and December, revenue on a pro forma basis was up 3.1%, EBITDA was up 4.6% and consolidated expenses grew at exactly 2.0%. I don't know if anybody recalls, but last year or at the same time we had guided the expense growth for 2012 of approximately 3%. So, for the year, we came in a little bit better than we had thought.

For 2013, obviously for the first quarter you saw what our revenue guidance was. We're projecting up 2% to 3% on a pro forma basis and that includes the Next acquisition in those numbers. For the expense growth for 2013, let me just make a couple of comments, just like last year, we think if you take pro forma operating expenses for 2012 and grow 3%, that's where we are projecting to come in for the year.

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