The corporate communications services company reported first-quarter earnings on April 17 of $204.6 million, or 72 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $201.9 million, or 69 cents a share."Profitability trends are also likely moving forward in a favorable manner across the industry," Pivotal Research Group wrote in an April 30 report. "During the first quarter, operating margins were up year-over-year by 50bps at IPG and by 80bps at OMC (the European-based holding companies do not provide full details on their quarterly earnings announcements). Overall this quarter's results reinforced our favorable view of the agencies, as we believe they are continuing to benefit from structural tailwinds. Marketers continually increase their reliance on agencies to manage an increasingly fragmented marketing universe, and organic growth trends should reflect this phenomena as we expect agency growth to outpace the broader media industry. As highlighted by the European results, this trend should see agencies increasingly divorced from macro-economic conditions, and should become increasingly less cyclical going forward." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.6% -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian
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