Tale of the Tape: IPG Vs. AQuantive

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Interpublic Group of Cos. sunk to fourth among worldwide marketing organizations in first-quarter revenue. That makes the new world order Omnicom Group, WPP Group, Publicis Groupe and Interpublic. Paris-based Publicis collected $1.39 billion (based on first-quarter exchange rates), up 6.5%. Interpublic last week disclosed its haul: $1.36 billion, up 2.4%.

New York-based Interpublic could take back the No. 3 position for the full year -- if it delivers promised improvement in organic growth. Interpublic's revenue tends to be weighted to the second half, which could help it in later rankings. The stock slumped to its lowest price this year on first-quarter results, which coupled weak revenue growth with higher-than-expected expenses.

Meanwhile, aQuantive, the largest digital-marketing organization and parent of Avenue A/ Razorfish, saw its stock surge last week on stellar first-quarter results. Investors have huge expectations for the company, whose stock has been bid up on takeover speculation. AQuantive, with projected '07 revenue of $595 million to $615 million, commands a market cap of a whopping $2.7 billion.

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