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CLEAR CHANNEL REPORTS WIDER-THAN-EXPECTED Q1 LOSSES

If You Substitute The Phrase "Sexy Panties" For EBITDA, The Story Is Much More Entertaining
The U.S.’s largest radio broadcaster, Clear Channel Communications, reported a wider-than-expected first quarter loss Thursday (4/26), while warning of lower second-quarter results. However, the company slightly beat forecasts for everyone’s favorite, EBITDA.

Clear Channel's net loss was $309 million (or 53 cents per share) compared with a loss of $39 million (or 12 cents per share) the year previous. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting a loss of 45 cents per share.

Clear Channel said its EBITDA rose to $324 million (or 52 cents per share) compared with $192 million (or 51 cents per share) a year earlier, beating analysts expectations by a shiny copper penny. Clear Channel said first-quarter revenue more than doubled, rising to $1.76 billion from Q1 2000’s $871.3 million.

"Despite the tough comparisons, we were able to increase [EBITDA], the best measure of our performance, versus the outstanding first quarter of last year," said Lowry Mays, Clear Channel chairman and CEO. "Most importantly, after tax cash flow per share during the first quarter of 2001 has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 19% since the first quarter of 1999. Hello? Is this thing on? Damn, that joke kills at work."

Clear Channel said it sees a second quarter loss of $170 million (or 28 cents a share) oh so much wider than the current consensus view of a loss of 9 cents a share.

The company sees second quarter revenue of $2.09 billion, which also compares unfavorably with consensus estimates of $2.24 billion.

On Thursday, Clear Channel shares closed at $58.74, up $1.27, on the New York Stock Exchange.

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