WPP, Publicis, IPG Downgraded To 'Hold'

Equities researcher and veteran Madison Avenue economist Brian Wieser has downgraded his recommendation for the stocks of three of the industry’s biggest agency holding companies -- WPP, Publicis and Interpublic -- from a “buy” to a “hold” rating.

The downgrade comes months after Pivotal Research Group’s Wieser upgraded the three companies’ stock from “hold” to “buy,” and in a note sent to investors early this morning, explained that he originally boosted their ratings due to an overreaction of their stock “on the downside because of a range of issues impacting the industry.”

Following “relatively positive” movement with their shares, Wieser said the three companies are “close enough to full valuations to warrant a downgrade at the present time.”

He noted that all four of the agency holding companies he follows, including Omnicom, now have a “hold” rating.

“For longer time horizons beyond 2018, we continue to look at the sector favorably, as we think that agencies are durable businesses, and flexible ones, too,” Wieser concludes.



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