Ad firm Interpublic beats profit estimates on higher client spending

(Reuters) - Interpublic Group of Cos Inc beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and revenue on Friday, as the U.S. advertising company benefited from higher client spending worldwide.

Interpublic said organic revenue - a closely watched measure in the ad industry that excludes foreign exchange rate changes and income from acquisitions - rose 6.4 percent in the first quarter, beating analysts’ expectations of a 3.8 percent rise, according to research firm FactSet.

The company, home to Madison Avenue icon McCann, has been spending billions to acquire data mining firms like Acxiom Corp’s marketing business to compete with the targeted advertising models of Alphabet’s Google and Facebook.

Last week, rival Omnicom Group Inc posted a better-than-expected rise in first-quarter organic revenue.

Net loss available to Interpublic’s common stockholders narrowed to $8 million, or 2 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $14.1 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Interpublic earned 11 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 4 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Interpublic’s net revenue rose 13 percent to $2 billion, above analysts’ estimates of $1.96 billion.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel