Thu, Apr. 23, 5:30 PM
Mon, Apr. 13, 12:05 PM
- Key ad agency companies are trading lower as Pivotal Research's Brian Wieser downgrades a cadre in large part due to growing blowback about agency rebates ("kickbacks").
- Recommending that investors "move to sidelines or exit the sector for the time being," Wieser bumped three firms to Sell from Hold: Omnicom (OMC -1.3%); Publicis (OTCQX:PUBGY -1.3%); and WPP (WPPGY -0.6%) and downgraded Interpublic Group (IPG -1.2%) to Hold, from a previous Buy.
- He noted previous favorable views toward agencies based on the transition to digital advertising, but "we have reassessed our view in recent weeks with growing awareness of the topic of undisclosed agency rebates (aka 'kickbacks') in the United States."
- Rightly or wrongly, he says, lack of understanding about agency rebates is confusing marketers and clients. WPP may be "most immunized" from the problem, ironically due to its transparency about not being transparent.
- He has a price target for IPG of $23, down from $24 (trading now at $21.59); and for OMC of $66, down from $71 (now at $77.57).
Fri, Apr. 10, 1:33 PM
- Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG) CEO Michael Roth got paid $12.9M last year -- up 9.7%, though the 10-year veteran still trails ad-industry peers like Omnicom's John Wren and WPP's Martin Sorrell.
- CFO Frank Mergenthaler was the company's second-highest paid exec, with $5.4M in total comp (up 9%).
- Roth earned an unchanged base salary of $1.4M, but stock awards went up 71% to $6.4M, and cash bonus rose to $4.7M. Omnicom's Wren also has most of his salary (95%) tied to performance.
- Interpublic grew organic revenues by 5.5% last year amid growing profit margins. The stock rose 31.5% over the past year and in February reached its highest point in over a decade.
Mon, Mar. 30, 10:42 PM
- After a quick review, Wells Fargo is in late-stage talks with OMD and Organic (both parts of Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC)) to expand their relationship and give OMC business that's currently handled by Interpublic Group's (NYSE:IPG) UM.
- OMD already leads on media planning/buying for Wells Fargo, but it's likely to take on Interpublic's digital and search responsibilities, as well as increasing planning/buying on multicultural ads.
- Organic is expected to take digital creative business share from Interpublic's MRM.
- The bank spent more than $170M in media in 2014.
Wed, Feb. 18, 2:09 PM
- JPMorgan sees a bounce in retail sales over the next two quarters as stronger employment rates and lower gas prices underpin demand.
- A screen by JP dug out the 12 stocks which show the largest correlation with headline retail sales growth.
- A dozen to watch in retail: GM, F, COH, SBUX, BWA, DLPH, VFC, IPG, LB, OMC, TSCO, HOG
Fri, Feb. 13, 8:41 AM
- Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG) is up slightly premarket, +0.9%, after its Q4 revenues came in ahead of expectations, but it pointed to slowing growth in 2015 as the dollar strengthens.
- Revenue of $2.21B was up 4.2% from prior year; organic revenue increased 4.8% (6.4% internationally, 3.4% in the U.S., its biggest market).
- Operating income of $433M was up 33.5% from prior year (which included pretax restructuring charges). Operating margin was 19.6%, 150 bps higher than the prior year (excluding restructuring impact).
- At year's end, cash and equivalents came to $1.67B; total debt of $1.73B. IPG bought back 6.7M shares in Q4 at about $127M, and has authorized a new program to buy back up to $300M in stock.
- The company's outlook sees slowing growth: in 2015, 3-4% organic growth in revenue (vs. the 5.5% it posted in 2014) and 80-100 bps of operating margin expansion. "We believe the tone of the business is solid, yet there remains macro uncertainty relating to both the currency environment and Europe."
- Press release
- Previously: Interpublic adds three directors in settlement with Elliott (Feb. 05 2015)
Fri, Feb. 13, 7:39 AM
Thu, Feb. 12, 5:30 PM
Thu, Feb. 5, 11:13 AM
- Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG) has named three new directors to its board in settling with activist investor Elliott Management -- with a 6.9% stake, one of IPG's biggest investors. The additions are effective March 1.
- Sources say two of the directors were put forward by Elliott. Current directors Jill Considine and Richard Goldstein will retire from the board.
- Elliott reportedly threatened a proxy fight last year but now says: “We are pleased with the constructive dialogue we have had with Interpublic."
- IPG is the fourth-largest ad holding company by revenue and is widely considered a takeover target.
Nov. 13, 2014, 9:50 AM
- Millennial Media (NYSE:MM) has formed a one-year partnership with ad giant Interpublic (NYSE:IPG). The deal covers all of Interpublic's "creative, digital, marketing services and media agencies."
- Interpublic's Cadreon ad-buying platform will be integrated with Millennial's programmatic (automated) ad offerings. The companies declare "IPG agencies and their clients will be eligible for greater efficiencies, custom research, access to Millennial Media's robust and scalable mobile data capabilities, and a first look at the mobile advertising platform's new products."
- Millennial is adding to the gains it saw last week after beating Q3 estimates and providing weak Q4 guidance.
Oct. 22, 2014, 7:13 AM
Oct. 21, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jul. 24, 2014, 11:08 AM
- Disclosing a 6.7% stake in Interpublic Group (IPG +1.3%), Paul Singer's Elliot Management is reportedly pushing for a sale of the company, according to Bloomberg.
- Interpublic has often been speculated as a takeover target, particularly after the failed $35B merger of Omnicom and Publicis Groupe. WPP Plc CEO Martin Sorrell says Interpublic could be a good fit for Japan's Dentsu, while Pivotal Research suggests Publicis could be a suitor.
Jul. 18, 2014, 7:19 AM
Jul. 17, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jun. 26, 2014, 7:25 AM
- "We believe Interpublic (IPG) is well positioned for strong organic growth in 2014, benefitting from an improving macro environment, account win tailwinds in the first half of the year, and net positive business wins year to date," says analyst John Janedis, upgrading the stock to a Buy with $23 price target (from $17.20) after taking over coverage from David Reynolds.
- "In addition, we think cost cutting measures taken late last year, along with a stronger top line, should translate to operating margin expansion. Improved operating metrics, along with reduced interest expense and a buyback, should translate to high teens compound annual EPS growth over the next five years."
- See also: Jefferies launches coverage on media names
Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc is an advertising and marketing services company. Its services include consumer advertising, digital marketing, communications planning & media buying, public relations & specialized communications disciplines.
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