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Can Interpublic (IPG) Keep the Earnings Streak Alive?

Interpublic Group Of Companies, Inc. IPG is scheduled to report first-quarter 2016 results before the opening bell on Apr 22. Last quarter, the company reported a positive earnings surprise of 6.45%. Notably, over the trailing four quarters, the company delivered an average positive surprise of approximately 31.59%.

New York based Interpublic is one of the world’s leading companies providing marketing and advertising services. Interpublic is an integral part of the communication industry and is highly competitive in nature. Headwinds in the currency market have left investors eager to find out what the quarter holds for them.

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Interpublic will beat earnings this time. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) for this to happen. This is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, stands at 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: Interpublic’s Zacks Rank #2 increases the predictive power of the ESP, but we need to have a positive ESP as well to be sure of an earnings beat.

Factors to Influence Q1 Results

Interpublic is expecting sustainable organic growth with a consistent cost discipline. Interpublic had expanded its share repurchase authorization at the beginning of 2016. The company introduced a $300 million share buyback program in addition to the $159 million already remaining in its prior authorization. Continuous share repurchases are expected to lend bottom-line support to the company in the first quarter.

However, macroeconomic slowdown and geopolitical issues have a direct impact on client spending. Markets such as Brazil, Continental Europe and the Middle East might have had an adverse impact on the company’s revenues in the to-be-reported quarter.

These macroeconomic risks make companies cautious about advertising and marketing outlay, thereby squeezing advertising budgets. This might prove to be a strain on Interpublic’s upcoming quarterly results. Also, advertising companies are currently under pressure as major advertising spenders are reviewing their agency accounts.

In addition, Interpublic has widespread international operations, and is exposed to the risk of unfavorable foreign currency translation and monetary devaluation. A stronger dollar can have an adverse impact on first-quarter revenues.

For 2016, Interpublic expects revenue growth in the range 3–4% and a 50 basis point  expansion in operating margin as compared to the previous year.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some companies that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

AutoNation, Inc. AN has an Earnings ESP of +1.09% and a Zacks Rank #2. It is scheduled to report on Apr 22.

The Earnings ESP of Kimberly-Clark Corporation KMB is +1.33% and it has a Zacks Rank #2. The company is expected to report on Apr 22.

McDonald's Corp. MCD has an Earnings ESP of +1.74% and a Zacks Rank #2. It is expected to release results on Apr 22.

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KIMBERLY CLARK (KMB): Free Stock Analysis Report
AUTONATION INC (AN): Free Stock Analysis Report
INTERPUBLIC GRP (IPG): Free Stock Analysis Report
MCDONALDS CORP (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report
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