HAVAS SCORED FIRST in April net adjusted billings growth after reeling in RadioShack's $250 million prize, according to the billings tally by Bear Stearns' Alexia Quadrani. That moved Havas into the plus column year to date. Through April, Publicis stayed in first place, followed by Omnicom, Interpublic and WPP.
MEMORIAL DAY SLOWDOWN: The AdMarket 50 and the broader market were up slightly in what was generally a slow week, highlighted by getaway day May 27 in which investors were taking off-figuratively and literally-for the holiday weekend. For the week, 31 AdMarket stocks were up and 19 were down.
Google was the big winner, setting a session high of $266.05 May 27 before closing at $266. That after JMP Securities' Bill Morrison became the latest analyst to set Google's price target north of $300. The New York Times Co. saw its stock drop after a week in which the company announced it would eliminate 190 jobs. That was followed by a downgrade on the stock from buy to hold by A.G. Edwards, which cited a tentative ad market and increasing competition. Meredith's purchase of four Gruner & Jahr USA titles was well received, landing the Midwest publisher in the win column.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended May 27 based on stock trading supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices May 20. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under BAAX.