In order to strengthen its presence in the New Orleans region,
Lamar Advertising Co.
) disclosed the buyout of a regional firm - Marco Outdoor
Advertising, Inc. Though it was an all-cash deal, the term details
have not been revealed.
With this acquisition, Lamar added over 150 bulletin faces to
its portfolio. The acquired assets of Marco are located especially
alongside the Pontchartrain Expressway and other chief
transportation networks of New Orleans. Apart from this, Marco's
inventory is further spread in the communities on the North shore
of Lake Pontchartrain.
For Lamar, the above-mentioned transaction is a strategic fit as
it will enhance its overall portfolio through the inclusion of
REIT-qualified, premium billboard assets. Notably, in Jan 2014,
this outdoor advertising services provider converted itself into a
real estate investment trust (REIT) to capitalize on a seemingly
more favorable tax environment.
Lamar is one of the largest owners and operators of outdoor
advertising structures in the U.S. This Baton Rouge, LA-based
company offers advertising solutions in the form of bulletins,
posters, digital billboards, buses, benches, and transit shelters.
The company presently operates more than 150 outdoor advertising
companies in 44 states of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Although the acquisition of outdoor advertising assets bodes
well for Lamar's long-term growth strategy, we believe that this
Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock holds negative near-term sentiments.
Lamar's earnings had missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 28.6%
in first-quarter 2014 and things do not look very encouraging for
the upcoming earnings announcement. In fact, Lamar has an Earnings
ESP of -11.43% for second-quarter 2014 and this coupled with Zacks
Rank #4, does not conclusively show that the company will beat
earnings this season.
Investors interested in the advertising/marketing services
industry may consider stocks like Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings
), MDC Partners Inc. (
) and Harte-Hanks Inc. (
), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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