It’s a tough time for the company, which sells ads and produces special events for movie theaters. National CineMedia just reported consolidated net income for Q3 of $16.7M, -6% vs the period last year, on revenues of  $143.7M, +5.7%. But the results fell short of the Street’s expectations. Analysts anticipated revenues of $145.2M. Earnings per share, at 30 cents, were two cents shy of projections. National CineMedia says that ad sales increased 8.5% to $138M, while revenue from its Fathom Events operation declined 35.2% to $5.7M as it wound down Fathom Business Events. More worrisome is CEO Kurt Hall’s warning that Q4 scatter market ad sales are “a bit more more challenging than we had originally anticipated” due to “inconsistent economic data and several uncertainties that could impact future economic activity.” The company lowered its revenue projection for 2012 to as much as $455M, down from $470M that it told investors to expect three months ago. “Even with this somewhat softer media marketplace, our national revenue growth for the year is still expected to be strong at 5% to 9%,” Hall says.

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