Art & Commerce




Keepers
All the ad stocks lost ground during the market’s recent plunge. Now, with dust (hopefully) settled, we can see how much damage shareholder wealth sustained. The answer (surprise, surprise) is it depends on which stock you held. The 52-week highs and lows for each of 11 equities, plus the Dow Jones, can serve as reference ranges; if you bought at the low and sold at the high, you’d score 100 percent. Assuming, though, that you bought at the low but sold just as this magazine went to press, how much of your ideal gain–buy lowest, sell highest–would have survived last week’s sell-off? That’s the score in the “keep-it index” column of the chart. Six of the group performed better than the Dow, with TMP Worldwide the winner. A liquidating investor would still get 61 percent of the trading gain possible with perfect timing. Saatchi and CKS fared worst; after commissions, an investor would barely break even.
–Alan Gottesman (westendal pobox.com) is principal of West End Consulting.

The Gottesman File
Wall Street and comedy are a lot alike: Success is all in the timing. Consider how various ad stocks fared in the recent market plunge.
……….52-week low …..52-week high …..Recent price*…..Keep-it index…..Maximum…..profit
………………..
…..TMP Worldwide…..15.00…..39.19…..29.88…..61.5%…..24.19
…..Omnicom…..32.75…..58.44…..48.31…..60.6%…..25.69
…..CCG…..5.38…..12.25…..9.00…..52.6%…..6.88
…..WPP Group…..40.25…..77.25…..56.88…..44.9%…..37.00
…..Interpublic…..44.00…..65.25…..52.81…..41.5%…..21.25
…..Young & Rubicam…..26.50…..35.88…..30.06…..38.0%…..9.38
…..Leap…..0.88…..7.88…..2.38…..21.4%…..7.00
…..True North…..22.31…..34.00…..24.50…..18.7%…..11.69
…..Grey…..313.00…..480.00…..340.00…..16.1%…..167.00
…..CKS Group…..11.38…..46.25…..13.25…..5.4%…..34.87
…..Saatchi & Saatchi…..7.88…..14.81…..8.19…..4.5%…..6.93
…..DJIA…..6971.32…..9367.84…..7682.22…..29.7%…..2396.52
…..Source: West End Research. *Prices through 9/3/98