Entravision Communications Corp. reported late Thursday that it logged a fourth-quarter loss, that it agreed to sell its outdoor advertising unit and that it had appointed a new chief financial officer.
Entravision reported a loss of $48 million (-49 cents per share) compared to a profit of $21.4 million (20 cents) from the same period a year earlier. The results were well below analysts' expectations of a profit of 2 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial and was due to continued weakness in the advertising sector, the media company said.
In a separate announcement, the company said it agreed to sell its billboard advertising division to Lamar Advertising Co. for $100 million. In connection with the sale, Entravision recorded an $80.5 million impairment charge because in previous filings it listed the billboards with an asset value of slightly more than $180 million.
The outdoor division, which operates under the name Vista Media, rents more than 10,600 billboards to advertisers in New York and Los Angeles. The unit accounted for about 12 percent of Entravision's 2007 revenues.
Analyst John Klim at Credit Suisse believes Entravision will "repurchase shares with the net proceeds" of the sale. Shares in Entravision were down 4.7 percent to $5.65 in early trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Also, Entravision announced it has appointed Christopher Young as chief financial officer.
Entravision said it expects first-quarter operating expenses to increase by a low-single digit percentage, which will hurt profits in the coming quarter.
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