Clear Channel Q1 profit rises 6%

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SAN ANTONIO, Tex. -- Radio and outdoor advertising conglomerate Clear Channel Communications Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 6%, fueled by substantial growth in the outdoor advertising business and a smaller bump in radio ad sales.

Clear Channel reported a net profit of $102.2 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with $96.8 million or 19 cents per share a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.61 billion from $1.49 billion a year earlier.

Excluding a range of pretax gains, the company said net income before discontinued operations would have been 14 cents per share in the period. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, expected earnings per share of 15 cents on revenue of $1.57 billion.

Clear Channel, the nation's largest operator of radio stations, agreed Friday to sell its 56 television stations to a private equity group for $1.2 billion. A group led by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners boosted its buyout offer to $39 per share, or $19.35 billion, plus the assumption of about $8 billion in debt, in an effort to win over skeptical shareholders.

The company's shares rose 6 cents to $35.95 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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