Agency and Media Shares Take a Hammering

03 October 2001

Tuesday: not a good day on the stock markets for the advertising and media industries.

On the media front, a profits warning from US business publishing leviathan McGraw-Hill set the melancholic tone, warning that both Q3 and full-year earnings would fall short of earlier forecasts.

Other business media stocks responded in like manner: London-headquartered United Business Media slid 8.7% to a nine-year low; Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier fell 6.8% to £5.21; Pearson, publisher of the Financial Times and myriad other B-2-B media, slipped 5.8% to £6.61; while Reuters lost 4.1% by midday GMT to settle at £5.58.

Among the global agency conglomerates, WPP Group fell by nearly seven per cent after announcing its bid for Tempus Group had gone unconditional – at which news Tempus shares leapt 12%.

A bad day too for French titans Havas Advertising and Publicis Groupe, the former plummeting 15% after posting an H1 loss and slashing its profit target for the full year [see lead story, this issue]. Publicis, from whom nil news was deemed by the markets to be bad news, fell 7% – probably a domino effect from Havas’ black tidings.

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