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Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) was downgraded by equities researchers at Citigroup Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, reports. They currently have a $54.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $53.00. Citigroup Inc.’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 7.70% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “The Street interpreted this to mean two things: (1) At the very least, Lamar’s PLR will be delayed significantly (causing the firm to miss its Jan 1, 2014 conversion date), (2) There’s a chance Lamar will be denied its REIT conversion altogether,” the report noted. “We argued, however, the key drivers of Lamar’s free cash flow – traditional and digital businesses – were highly likely to qualify. Furthermore, conversations with industry contacts led us to believe Lamar was very likely to achieve their Jan 1, 2014 target date (even with the IRS working group). With this in mind, we upgraded Lamar to Buy (from Neutral) as we believed REIT fears were overblown.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Lamar Advertising from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, December 2nd. They now have a $52.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Evercore Partners upgraded shares of Lamar Advertising from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, November 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Lamar Advertising presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.45.

Shares of Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) traded down 1.84% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $50.14. The stock had a trading volume of 1,282,722 shares. Lamar Advertising has a 52 week low of $41.30 and a 52 week high of $52.33. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $50.82 and its 200-day moving average is $47.00. The company has a market cap of $4.745 billion and a P/E ratio of 119.07. Lamar Advertising also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock traders purchased 12,399 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 180% compared to the average volume of 4,434 put options.

Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.19. The company had revenue of $323.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $322.00 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.12 earnings per share. Lamar Advertising’s revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Lamar Advertising will post $0.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Lamar Advertising Company is an outdoor advertising company in the United States. The Company operates in the advertising segment.

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