Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising Co. reported a second-quarter profit of $11.4 million, or 12 cents per share, handily beating the 8 cents per share projected by Wall Street analysts. A year earlier the company lost nearly $9 million, or 10 cents per share. Those results included a $17.1 million charge related to refinancing debt.

Lamar’s second-quarter revenue rose to $293.9 million, up 2.4 percent over the $286.4 million recorded a year earlier. The average revenue estimate by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters was $295.9 million.

Lamar expects its third-quarter revenue to be roughly $293 million, or about 2 percent more than the third quarter of 2010. Stock analysts expect the outdoor advertising giant to earn 9 cents per share on revenue of $300.3 million.

The difference between this year and last was evident in Lamar’s spending for digital billboards. The company invested $11.7 million on digital billboards during the quarter, compared to $2.9 million a year earlier. During the first half of the year, Lamar spent $20.1 million on digital billboards, compared to $4.7 million during the first half of 2010.