NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services this afternoon lowered its ratings on Interpublic Group of Cos. debt to junk status, citing "operating performance challenges."
Interpublic Restates Earnings Results Back to 1997
Announces $165 Million in New Charges
The move came one day after Interpublic disclosed sharply lower fourth-quarter earnings and forecast a 2003 revenue fall.
S&P credit analyst Alyse Michaelson said in a statement: "The downgrade is based on Interpublic's recent record of weak profitability and higher debt to [earnings], and the likelihood that restoring earnings prospects ... could take longer than anticipated."
Another firm, Fitch Ratings, downgraded a limited amount of Interpublic debt to junk status in December.