More ill tidings for the besieged Interpublic Group.
US credit assessment agency Fitch Ratings on Monday lowered Interpublic’s outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’, thus reversing its August assessment.
The move follows IPG’s latest profits warning [WAMN: 18-Oct-02] and the concomitant dive in its share price. The latter closed Tuesday at $12.33 (€12.60; £7.98), comfortably up from last week’s low of $11.44 – but still in the abyss compared to the 52-week high of $34.98 on 10-Apr-02.
Says Fitch: “The negative outlook reflects concern about financing flexibility in 2003 [when IPG’s $500 million credit line is due to expire]. And it added with pointed reference to last week's events: “Fitch is further concerned about management controls.”
Standard & Poor’s reacted to last week’s earnings warning by downgrading Interpublic’s $3 billion in long and short-term debt. Moody’s Investors Service has yet to make a move.
Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff