• Sean Reilly on Fairway, Automotive and Digital Signs

    Lamar CEO Sean Reilly had plenty to say about the Fairway integration, digital signs and Lamar’s renewed focus on auto dealers on yesterday’s earnings conference call.

    On integrating the Fairway assets  purchased in December 2018:

    The integration of Fairway is going very very well.  Typically the low hanging fruit is on the expense side.  And that happens pretty quickly…Those promised synergies are largely in place and going fine.  And then usually there’s a little lift on the top line as we bring…the philosophy of sales management…to the platform.  That takes a little longer.  That will happen over the next twelve to eighteen months.

    Digital Billboards:

    With the Fairway acquisition we acquired 149 and we added organically 220 in 2018.  So that brings our year end 2018 total digitals in the air to 3,220.  Our goal for 2019 is to add 250 more.

    Why digital billboards are a natural for political spending:

    One of the things that politics is about these days is tit-for-tat.  And our digital platform is pretty good at that.  Because they can change it at their whim.  It’s a very responsive medium.

    Lamar’s renewed focus on the auto industry:

    Automotive is now 5% (Insider’s note: of Lamar revenues) and historically it’s been 6%…Last year we hired a consultant to help us do a deep dive into the local auto dealer vertical.  We developed some insights into how the business model is changing….All other media are struggling with declining auto ad spend.  These insights helped us roll out some initiatives targeted directly at the local auto dealers.  The early results are promising.  Auto for us Q1 is pacing up 3% and as you know it’s down for most other verticals.

    Programmatic spending:

    2019 looks to be the year when programmatic automated buying looks to bring dollars to our platform in a way that will make real incremental contributions to our proforma growth.  We have expanded our number of partners…from one to four to go after these dollars.  And we made the necessary investments last year to insure that our platform is truly plug and play.

    Pending Lamar acquisitions:

    We have $240 million under various stages of agreement, some under letters of intent some under APA.  We raised $250 million in a fairly attractive add-on to one of our notes so that we have he capacity to handle the acquisitions.


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