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5 Blue-Chip Stocks Ready for Buyers

Interpublic

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2003 Sales: $6.1 billion

2012 Sales: $7 billion

2003 EPS -$1.66

2011 EPS: 99 cents

Interpublic (IPG - Get Report), the nation's second-largest ad agency, has felt the effects of an anemic advertising market as a number of publishers and other media firms shrink in size. Even with those top-line pressures, the company has managed to turn around its bottom line in remarkable fashion. Back in 2003, this company lost $640 million (and wouldn't go on to turn a profit until 2007).

Yet a tight focus on costs has helped Interpublic to boost operating profit margins for seven straight years, to a recent 9.8%. That helped net income reach a record $520 million in 2011. Meanwhile, shares, which managed to surpass $50 in 1999 and were still above $30 by 2002, now trade for around $11.

The current forward P/E multiple of around 11 is quite reasonable when you consider this company's strong industry positioning and leverage to an eventual rebound in the economy and ad spending.
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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
CSCO $25.53 -1.40%
F $13.55 -2.10%
IPG $18.84 -1.60%
LUV $37.22 -0.56%
WAG $81.65 2.05%

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