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Clear Channel Outdoor Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises 61%

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, which sells advertising on outdoor displays such as billboards, said its fourth-quarter earnings grew 61%, helped by higher revenue and favorable currency exchange.

Quarterly net income rose to $65.1 million, or 18 cents a share, from $40.4 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue grew 13% to $830.7 million from $734.6 million last year, with double-digit percentage gains seen in both Americas and international sales.

Current-year results include $32.4 million in revenue due to favorable foreign exchange effects.

The results easily beat analysts' expectations for profit of 15 cents a share on sales of $798.4 million, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

For the year, earnings more than doubled to $153.1 million, or 43 cents a share, from $61.6 million, or 18 cents a share in 2005.

Excluding gains on asset swaps, Clear Channel Outdoor's 2006 net income would have been $145.4 million, or 41 cents a share.

Revenue grew 9% to $2.9 billion from $2.67 billion in 2005.