Ad Watch

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TURNSIGNALS

IPG scored first in October wins with Wal-Mart, shared with Aegis, according to Bear Stearns' Alexia Quadrani. Aegis is No. 2 year to date.

Charts: HOLDING CO. ADJUSTED NEW-BUSINESS: RANK: OCT.1 * HOLDING CO. ADJUSTED NEW-BUSINESS: RANK: JAN.-OCT.1

1. Adjusted billings cut media accounts to 25% of reported billings to more closely correlate with anticipated revenue. 2. Aegis is a new addition to Bear Stearns' table. $ in millions; numbers rounded. Source: Bear, Stearns & Co.

ADMARKET 50

Focus on: READER'S DIGEST ASSOCIATION (RDA)

Reader's Digest shareholders will get $17 a share in the takeover led by private-equity outfit Ripplewood. That's a 52-week peak and a 9.6% premium vs. the pre-deal price. Good deal? Not if you bought in the 1990 IPO ($20) or at the stock's early '90s peak ($56). RDA traded north of $17 as recently as 2005. It's been slow growing: RDA is not much bigger now than when it went public; it lost money in fiscal '05 and '06.

Chart: 1. EV = market cap plus debt minus cash. Source: Bloomberg, Factiva, company reports, Ad Age analysis

Last week's score

AdMarket traded in a narrow range while Wilshire 5000 hit its top point since 2000. GM fell after investor Kirk Kerkorian slashed his stake to 7.4%.

Prices as of Nov. 22. Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 tracks 50 top marketer, media and agency stocks. Bloomberg symbol: BAAX
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