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Interpublic (IPG) Down 18.8% Since Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 18.8% in that time frame, underperforming the market.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to the stock's next earnings release, or is it due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Interpublic Group Lags Q2 Earnings, Reaffirms View

Interpublic reported dismal second-quarter 2017 results with GAAP earnings of $94.7 million or $0.24 per share, down from $156.9 million or $0.38 per share in the year-earlier quarter. The year-over-year decrease was primarily due to lower revenues.

Adjusted earnings were $107.8 million or $0.27 per share compared with $137.2 million or $0.33 per share in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.34.

Revenues

Revenues for the reported quarter were $1.88 billion, down 1.7% from the prior-year period. The decrease was due to negative foreign currency translation effect of 1.1%. Also, net divestures negatively impacted revenues by 1%. Quarterly revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.96 billion.

Geographically, Interpublic reported revenues of $1.16 billion in the U.S., a decline of 0.7% and $0.72 billion in international markets, a fall of 3.3%.

Margins

Operating income decreased to $206.5 million from $224.3 million in year-ago quarter, due to increase in salaries and related expenses. Operating margin declined to 11% from 11.7% in the prior-year quarter. It also decreased 70 basis points (bps) year over year.  Total operating expenses in the quarter were $1,678.4 million compared with $1,693.6 million in the year-ago quarter, due to higher office and general expenses.

Balance Sheet

As of Jun 30, 2017, cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were $660.8 million compared with $675.4 million in the year-ago period. Total debt was $1.82 billion as of Jun 30, 2017.

Share Repurchase/Dividend

During the second quarter, the company repurchased 2.5 million shares for $60 million.

Interpublic paid a dividend of $0.18 per share for a total consideration of $70.5 million during the reported quarter.

Outlook Reaffirmed

For 2017, the company reaffirmed its guidance. It continues to expect organic growth in the range of 3–4%, with a 50 bps improvement in operating margins.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last one month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.

VGM Scores

At this time, Interpublic's stock has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum is doing a lot better with a B. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Our style scores indicate that the stock is more suitable for value investors than momentum investors.

Outlook

Notably, the stock has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We are expecting a below average return from the stock in the next few months.




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