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Interpublic's (IPG) Organic Growth Drives Q1 Earnings Beat (Revised)

The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc IPG reported healthy first-quarter 2016 results with GAAP earnings coming in at $5.4 million or 1 cent per share. In the year-earlier quarter, the company had reported a loss of $1.8 million or break-even results on a per share basis. The year-over-year increase was primarily due to higher revenues.

 

Adjusted income came in at $1.6 million or break-even results on a per share basis. Adjusted earnings for first-quarter 2016 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 1 cent.

Revenues

Revenues for the quarter came in at $1,742 million, up 3.9% from the prior-year period on an increase in organic revenues and above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,703 million. The company recorded healthy 6.7% growth in organic revenues over the prior-year period, despite the negative foreign currency translation effect of 3.1%. However, net acquisitions positively impacted the revenues by 0.3%.

Geographically, Interpublic saw organic growth of 8.3% in the U.S. and 4.3% in the international markets. The results were triggered by new business wins, and strength in all geographic regions, led by a notable performance in the domestic market.

Margins

Operating income increased to $20.9 million from $7.8 million in first-quarter 2015, driven by better cost-management efforts. Operating margin also improved to 1.2% from 0.5% in the prior-year quarter. Total operating expenses in the quarter came in at $1,721.1 million, reflecting an increase of 3.2% year over year.

Balance Sheet

As of Mar 31, 2016, cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were $680.3 million compared with $741.2 million as of Mar 31, 2015. Total debt was $1.74 billion at quarter end versus $1.76 billion as of Dec 31, 2015.

Share Repurchase Program/Dividend

During the first quarter of 2016, the company repurchased 2.5 million shares for $53.7 million at an average price of $21.67 per share.

Interpublic paid a dividend of 15 cents per share for a total consideration of $59.9 million during the reported quarter.

Outlook

Advertising companies are currently under pressure as major advertising spenders are reviewing their agency accounts. However, sustained organic growth and consistent cost discipline are expected to buoy Interpublic’s growth in the coming quarters. Also, the company is committed to enhancing shareholder wealth by regularly returning significant cash through share repurchases and dividend payouts.

For 2016, the company has a cautious stance and expects organic revenue growth of 3-4%, with 50 basis points of operating margin improvement over the previous year.

Interpublic currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks that are worth considering in the industry include YuMe, Inc. YUME, Omnicom Group Inc. OMC and Publicis Groupe SA PUBGY. All three carry the same Zacks Rank as Interpublic.

(We are reissuing this article to correct a mistake. The original article, issued earlier, should no longer be relied upon.)

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OMNICOM GRP (OMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PUBLICIS GP-ADR (PUBGY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
INTERPUBLIC GRP (IPG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
YUME INC (YUME): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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