Interpublic Group

(IPG) - Get Report

indicated today that its fourth-quarter earnings will fall 4 cents to 6 cents a share below Wall Street's estimates, but tried to put the best face on the news, noting that the figure is up sharply from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the company's stock dropped $1.38, or 3.1%, to $43 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.

Interpublic

, which manages a group of advertising agencies and marketing companies, expects to earn 44 cents to 46 cents a share for the fourth quarter. Eleven analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

, who originally forecast earnings of 51 cents a share, currently have a consensus estimate of 50 cents a share.

The company earned 35 cents in the year-ago fourth quarter.