WPP scored first in March new business with the consolidation of Sprint Nextel media at MindShare; Publicis' Starcom was the loser. Interpublic, which took last place for new business in 2005 and Jan.-Feb. '06, jumped to second in March with big wins on Hewlett-Packard at McCann Erickson and CBS media at Initiative. That made Interpublic a strong No. 2 performer in new business for the first quarter, coming in behind WPP.
Focus on: HARTE-HANKS (HHS)
Junk mail and local shoppers aren't sexy, but they are profitable. Harte-Hanks, a newspaper publisher dating back to the '20s, unloaded its papers and a TV station in 1997 to focus on direct-marketing services and shoppers. It's roundly outperformed newspaper companies since then, reaching an all-time high last June. William Blair analyst Troy Mastin this month upgraded his stock rating to "outperform," saying the price is "the best entry point in three years."
Last week's score
Wilshire 5000 hit its highest point since Nov. '00. Google rocketed on soaring sales and profits; Meredith slumped on analyst downgrades.