* Fourth-quarter revenue $2.06 bln vs est $2.07 bln
* Adjusted earnings/share $0.56 vs est $0.53
* Shares rise more than 3 pct
By Sruthi Ramakrishnan
Feb 22 Interpublic Group of Cos, home to
advertising agencies McCann Erickson and Draftfcb, said it
expected to return to growth this year after revenue declined in
2012 due to the loss of big accounts including Microsoft Corp's
North America media-buying business.
Interpublic, whose shares were up more than 3 percent in
morning trading on Friday, said it expected to increase organic
revenue by 2-3 percent in 2013 to bring its growth into line
with that of its peers, which include Omnicom Group Inc
and France's Publicis Groupe SA.
Revenue fell 0.8 pct in 2012 after the second-biggest U.S.
advertising and marketing group lost the Microsoft business as
well as the entire marketing account for household products
company SC Johnson & Son Inc.
Wedbush analyst James Dix said Interpublic seemed to be
banking on markets such as the Asia Pacific region and Latin
America to deliver growth this year.
In 2012, revenue from Asia Pacific eclipsed Continental
Europe's contribution for the first time, a milestone that Chief
Executive Michael Roth termed "a pretty big statement".
Asia Pacific was the only geographic region to grow in the
fourth quarter and accounted for 12 percent of revenue for the
full year, eclipsing 11.8 percent from Continental Europe.
"We are not assuming a big recovery in Europe," Roth said,
echoing the bleak outlook of the company's rivals.
Dix noted that Interpublic's peers themselves were growing
at a low single-digit percentage rate. "Those peer levels are
not particularly robust at the moment," he said.
Larger rival Omnicom reported a better-than-expected profit
earlier this month on higher revenue in the U.S. market, but
said uncertainty in some markets would continue to pressure
Publicis Groupe also said last week that 2013 would be
difficult, especially in Europe.
Interpublic's revenue slipped to $2.06 billion in the fourth
quarter from $2.07 billion a year earlier. Revenue from the
United States fell 0.6 percent to $1.03 billion.
Net income rose to $313.3 million, or 68 cents per share,
from $259 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding the impact of the sale of its stake in Facebook
Inc during the quarter, Interpublic earned 56 cents per
share. The company sold its remaining 0.2 percent stake in
Facebook for $95 million in November.
Analysts on average expected earnings of 53 cents per share
on revenue of $2.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
Interpublic shares were up 3.4 percent at $12.67 in midday
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.