MDC Partners posted an organic revenue decline of 1.5% in the fourth quarter of last year and a 3.1% decline for full-year 2019.
The firm is in good company, as most of the other ad-holding companies also came up short in the growth department.
WPP (reporting today), Havas, Publicis, and Dentsu also reported organic declines for last year.
Like the rest of the market, MDC shares were down today as the Dow entered “correction” territory amid coronavirus worries. Smartly, MDC announced earnings after the market closed and got a nice bump in after-hours trading.
Part of the reason may be the firm gave upbeat guidance for this year, targeting 2% to 4% organic revenue growth (which strips out currency and M&A impact) for full-year 2020. That would be quite a turnaround from last year’s 3% dip.
Another part is that investors have more confidence in the ability of Mark Penn — who took over CEO duties last March — to turn the place around than the previous regime.
He has been busy mixing up things at the company, creating new combinations of agencies and networks within the firm to foster greater collaboration and drive growth.
Penn has also taken steps to cut costs, including a paring down of the company’s real-estate portfolio. The company confirmed it has signed a new lease to move its New York-based agencies and headquarters into new digs at One World Trade Center.