Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings of $6.4 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to a loss of $7.1 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier.

For the year, Lamar earned $8.6 million, or 9 cents per share, compared to a loss of $40.1 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

The outdoor advertising giant said it expects first quarter revenue of around $264 million, an increase of roughly 3 percent over the first quarter of 2011.

Lamar outstripped forecasts by stock analysts for the fourth quarter.

Stock analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected fourth-quarter earnings of 1 cent per share on revenue of $284.1 million. For the year, Wall Street analysts expected earnings of 3 cents per share on revenue of $1.13 billion.

Lamar’s fourth-quarter revenue was $288.2 million, and the company had $1.13 billion in revenue for the year.