Interpublic's earnings plummet

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New York--Interpublic Group of Cos. Inc. reported its quarterly earnings before one-time charges fell sharply due to the ad industry slump. Although the company said it has seen a pick-up in new business, it declined to give specific guidance for the current quarter. The company reiterated its projection of a 15% increase in earnings per share in 2002 if full-year revenues are flat. Interpublic, whose major clients include Boeing Co. and Coca-Cola Co., said fourth-quarter earnings totaled $111.2 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with $190.5 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. For the current quarter the company said it has seen a "marked" increase in new business, including assignments from Sony Corp. and the MCI unit of WorldCom. Interpublic's portfolio of ad agencies includes Carmichael Lynch, Golin/Harris International and the FCB Group.
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