Investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston this week raised the share price targets for three of the world’s leading global agency holding companies.

To quote the strangulated prose of CSFB analyst Frederik Kooij: “Macro sentiment should remain the short-term driver but we believe earnings upgrades will be required to sustain any further outperformance.” [Emergency surgery for hiatus hernia of the English language is clearly overdue.]

In accord with Kooij’s view that things will improve for the ad industry in 2004, up by 16% went his target price for WPP Group, from £5.00 per share to £5.80 – meriting a “neutral” rating.

Havas too was raised by a modest 2.4%, up from €4.10 to €4.20. This coincided with a downrating of the French group from “neutral” to “underperform”, triggered by its disappointing H1 results [WAMN: 01-Aug-03].

Publicis Groupe also saw its target price ratcheted by 9.3% to €23.50 from €21.50, its “underperform” rating remaining unchanged.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff