UPDATE 2-Focus Media Q3 earnings trail Street; Q4 outlook weak

martedì 11 novembre 2008 00:36

* Q3 EPS, Rev miss estimates

* Forecasts Q4 EPS, Rev below estimates

* CEO: Macro headwind we are facing is the most severe * Shares down 24 pct (Adds analyst's comments, background)

By Bijoy Anandoth Koyitty

BANGALORE, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Chinese digital advertising company Focus Media Holding Ltd FMCN.O reported a quarterly profit that missed analysts' expectations, hurt by higher operating expenses, and forecast fourth-quarter results below estimates, sending its shares down 24 percent.

Global advertising spending has shown signs of declining recently as corporations respond to economic growth worries by curtailing their marketing budgets.

"The macro headwind we are facing is the most severe in the modern history of the Chinese advertising industry," Chief Executive Tan Zhi said in a statement, adding that the company's "conservative" fourth-quarter outlook reflects the situation.

Sterne, Agee & Leach analyst James Lee said Focus Media missing the Street estimates was "surprising," as its peers in the Chinese media space had reported comparatively better results.

There must be some company specific reason for Focus Media to post a big revenue miss in the Internet advertising business, Lee said by phone.   Continua...