BatonRouge-based Lamar Advertising Co. posted a 2009 fourth-quarter loss as the billboard operator continued dealing with a major downturn in the demand for advertising.
Advertising expenditure levels fell by 9% in the US last year, to $117 billion, according to The Nielsen Company.
For the October-through-December period, Lamar lost $19.8 million on revenue of $262.3 million, compared with a year-ago loss in the fourth quarter of $8.7 million on revenue of $279.3 million.
For 2009, Lamar lost $58.4 million, or 64 cents per share, on revenue of $1.06 billion, compared with a 2008 profit of $1.8 million, or 2 cents per share, on revenue of $1.2 billion.
In Thursday (Feb. 25) trading, Lamar shares closed at $29.16. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $5.35 to $34.09.