OMNICOM RATES HIGH ON NEW MERRILL LYNCH REPORT

Stock Rebounds on News of Improved Earnings Rank

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group turned up near the top of a new rating of earnings quality introduced in a research report today by Merrill Lynch & Co.

The advertising agency holding company rated 11th -- and sixth among those companies rated "buy" or "strong buy" -- in a list of "high-quality" earning companies by the brokerage's analysts.

The report rated companies

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by quality of earnings, which Merrill's analysts defined as the ability to produce consistent earnings over time without increased risk or leverage.

Omnicom -- already bouyed by a positive earnings report on Tuesday -- rose further on the news, closing up 6.2% to $55.95.

The report is part of an overhaul of Merrill's analysts practices, following a deal in May with the New York state attorney general that settled charges of analyst bias and manipulating stock recommendations.

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