October 19, 2018 / 11:20 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Interpublic organic growth surpasses rivals on higher client spending

(Compares adj. profit with estimates; adds details on organic revenue, CEO and analysts comments, share price)

By Sonam Rai

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Advertising company Interpublic Group of Cos Inc’s quarterly organic revenue growth outperformed rivals Omnicom Group Inc and Publicis Groupe SA on Friday, benefiting from higher client spending worldwide.

Interpublic, home to Madison Avenue icon McCann, has managed to keep pace with an industry that is shifting to targeted advertising models by Google and Facebook.

While rivals have struggled with customers choosing to spend more on data-driven advertising, Interpublic has maintained market share by spending billions to acquire data mining firms like Acxiom Corp’s marketing business.

“We saw both existing client increases from a year ago and the benefit of net new business wins,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Roth said on a post-earnings call.

The company said organic revenue — a closely-watched measure that excludes foreign exchange rate changes and income from acquisitions — rose 5.4 percent, above analysts’ expectations of 4.3 percent, according to research firm FactSet.

Shares rose as much as 5.4 percent as both the company’s profit and revenue easily beat analysts’ estimates.

“The market didn’t expect such a beat, but overall strong performance wasn’t surprising given the good numbers IPG has posted all year,” said Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi.

The company’s U.S. organic revenue grew 5 percent, largely above the FactSet estimates of 3.6 percent, while international was up 6 percent, about 2 percent higher than expectations.

Interpublic also reaffirmed its full-year target range for organic revenue growth of between 4 percent and 4.5 percent.

“IPG is certainly outpacing its peers in recent quarters in terms of organic revenue growth. (It) will be interesting to see if they can sustain it,” said analyst Craig Huber from Huber Research Partners.

Earlier in the week, rival Omnicom posted a quarterly organic revenue growth of 2.9 percent and Publicis 1.3 percent. WPP PLC, one of the “big four” advertising agencies, is yet to report results.

Net income available to the common stockholders fell to $161 million, or 41 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

Excluding items, Interpublic earned 48 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 45 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Interpublic’s total revenue rose 4 percent to $2.30 billion, beating market expectation of $1.88 billion.

Shares of the company were trading up 2.8 percent at $23.10 before the bell. (Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur)

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