IPG Finishes 2017 On A High Note

Interpublic Group finished the year with a somewhat stronger performance than throughout most of 2017, posting fourth-quarter revenue of $2.34 billion with an organic revenue gain of 3.3% versus the prior year period. 

Full-year revenue topped $7.8 billion, with organic growth of 1.8%. 

U.S. organic growth in the fourth quarter reached 3.7% and 2.9% for operations outside the U.S. Full-year growth was 2.2% in the U.S. and 1.2% internationally. 

Net income available to common shareholders was roughly flat in the fourth quarter at about $317 million. Full-year net income available to shareholders was down about 5% to $579 million. 

The firm said it received a net income benefit of $36 million as a result of the new tax law recently passed by Congress. It sold several businesses at a loss during the year. 

On an earnings call, Interpublic CEO Michael Roth told analysts and investors: “We are pleased to report fourth-quarter performance highlighted by stronger organic growth and margin expansion.”

Roth said the company was targeting organic growth for 2018 of between 2% and 3%, and slightly more operating margin expansion. “We will continue to invest behind out talent and in key areas such as digital, data and analytics, which are vital to positioning us for [future] success.” 

IPG also raised its dividend by 17% and authorized the repurchase of an additional $300 million of the company’s common shares. Roth said both moves reflected the company’s “continuing operating success and financial strength, as well as confidence in our future prospects.”






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