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3 Advertising & Marketing Stocks to Watch Amid Industry Woes

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The rise in service activities, along with increased digital marketing services and the success of the work-from-home trend, is enabling the Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry to counter the prevailing revenue softness.

Customer-centric approaches to business, digital strategies, and technology investments are helping Publicis Groupe S.A. (PUBGY - Free Report) , National CineMedia, Inc. (NCMI - Free Report) and AdTheorent Holding Company, Inc. (ADTH - Free Report) to sail through the current testing times.

About the Industry

The Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry comprises companies that offer an extensive range of services, including advertising, branding, content marketing, digital/direct marketing, digital transformation, financial/corporate business-to-business advertising, graphic arts/digital imaging, healthcare marketing and communications and in-store design services. Prominent players from the industry include Interpublic and Omnicom. The pandemic has changed the way industry players have conducted business and delivered services so far. Currently, the industry’s key focus is on channelizing money and efforts toward media formats and devices. To position themselves suitably in the post-pandemic era, service providers are increasing their efforts toward formulating strategic initiatives and identifying sources of demand.

What's Shaping the Future of the Industry?

Economic Recovery: The sector is a major beneficiary of the broader economy and service activities. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in 2023 compared with 1.9% growth in 2022. Economic activities in the non-manufacturing sector are in good shape. The Services PMI measured by the Institute for Supply Management has stayed above the 50% mark for the past 14 months, indicating continued expansion.

Reviving Demand: The industry is mature, with demand for services remaining stable over time. Revenues, income and cash flows are anticipated to gradually reach the pre-pandemic levels, aiding most industry players to pay out stable dividends.

Digital Marketing Gathering Steam: Digital media consumption has shot up, with consumers spending more time on various media platforms and video-streaming services. Thus, agencies offering digital marketing services stand to gain, as these firms are better positioned to address the rapid change in customer preference.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Dull Near-Term Prospects

The Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry, housed within the broader Zacks Business Services sector, currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #186. This rank places it in the bottom 26% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates underperformance in the near term. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than two to one.

Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock market performance and current valuation:

Industry's Price Performance

Over the past year, the Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry has declined while the S&P 500 composite and the broader sector witnessed growth. The industry has declined 12.9% against the S&P 500 composite’s growth of 26.9%. The broader sector has gained 27.7% in the said time frame.

One-Year Price Performance

Industry's Current Valuation

On the basis of the forward 12-month price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, which is commonly used for valuing advertising and marketing stocks, the industry is currently trading at 10.19X compared with the S&P 500’s 21.15X and the sector’s 26.51X.

Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 16.91X and as low as 7.7X, with the median being 11.06X, as the charts below show.

Price to Forward 12 Months P/E Ratio

3 Advertising Stocks to Consider

Here, we have presented three stocks that are well-positioned for near-term growth:

AdTheorent: The company operates a digital media platform and offers programmatic digital advertising services for advertising agencies and brand customers globally. AdTheorent’s sophisticated ID-independent machine learning technology and algorithmic audience solutions position it for sustained revenue growth in the long term.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2024 bottom line has increased more than 100% to 6 cents over the past 60 days. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). 

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. 

Publicis: The company is a provider of marketing, communications and digital business transformation services. It is witnessing strength across regions, especially in the United States and Europe, driven by strong momentum in account wins.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2024 EPS has increased 3% to $2.05 over the past 60 days. Shares of Publicis have gained 57.1% in the past year. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

National CineMedia: The company operates a cinema advertising network in North America. The company is currently witnessing growth in active national advertisers and revenue per attendee as a benefit of the recently completed financial restructuring.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2024 bottom line has increased more than 100% to 3 cents over the past 60 days. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

Publicis Groupe SA (PUBGY) - free report >>

National CineMedia, Inc. (NCMI) - free report >>

AdTheorent Holding Company, Inc. (ADTH) - free report >>

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