Banc of America Securities Predicts 2.5% Q4 Growth

Banc of America Securities Predicts 2.5% Q4 Growth
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Banc of America Securities' Jonathan Jacoby asks: Is Radio Warming Up Into the Winter? He predicts early signs of a thaw, but says the medium isn't out of the woods.
"Radio trends still sluggish, but channel checks reveal first positive datapoint in months. National ads (~25% of radio business) remains sluggish, but our channel checks indicate a positive weekly delta over the last three weeks to -2.6% from -10.3% for October, and to -0.4% from -7% for November."
Jacoby says, "This is the first time we have seen such positive momentum in three months. The question is where do we go from here?"
Based on trends, Banc of America Securities is reducing its Q4 radio industry estimate to 2.5%. "While higher than the Street, (2.5% growth) is achievable if trends continue to improve."
Clear Channel's "Less is More," spotload reduction initiative may cause some revenue "pain" in 2005 due to limited pricing power and expected inventory reduction led by the group owner, Jacoby believes.

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