Interpublic's Profit Misses Estimate While Sales Beat, Dividend Raised

Interpublic Group of Companies reported on Friday a fourth-quarter net profit that rose to $308.9 million, or 73 cents a share, from $193.1 million, or 44 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted per-share earnings were 57 cents, compared with the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of 58 cents. Revenue rose 4% to $2.21 billion from $2.12 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $2.18 billion. The advertising company raised its quarterly dividend by 26% to 12 cents a share from 9.5 cents a share, and authorized a new $300 million share buyback program. For 2015, the company said the currency and economic environment in Europe remained uncertain. It expectss revenue growth, excluding currency effects, of 3% to 4%. The stock was still inactive ahead of the open. It has rallied 9% over the past three months, outperforming the S&P 500's 2.4% gain.

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