Interpublic’s Net Income Nearly Doubled in Q3

Gain comes amid revenue growth of 8%

Interpublic Group's net income nearly doubled in the third quarter, as revenue grew by 8 percent.

The holding company ended the quarter with $1.84 billion in revenue and net income of more than $89 million, up from $45 million in the same period last year. On an organic basis, revenue rose more than 6 percent.

Growth for the first nine months of the year was comparable, with revenue climbing nearly 7 percent to $5.33 billion and net income more than doubling to $168 million, from $66 million in the like period of 2013. And as in Q3, organic revenue growth hovered around 6 percent.

IPG CEO Michael Roth attributed the strong results to the competitiveness of the company's agencies. Existing clients in the healthcare, food and beverage, and automotive sectors also spent considerably more. Heathcare spending, for example, rose 13 percent in the first nine months, according to Roth.

In addition, the CEO reaffirmed two key financial goals for the year: organic growth of more than 4 percent and an operating margin of at least 10.3 percent. At the end of Q3, IPG's margin was 9.3 percent.

"The performance we are reporting today puts us solidly on track to achieve or exceed our full year targets," Roth said.

Analysts focused primarily on the numbers during an hour-long call this morning, save for some questions about programmatic media buying, content creation and media consolidation. Interestingly, there was no talk of activist investor Elliott Management, which in July became Interpublic's third largest shareholder and called for a sale of the company.

At one point, however, an analyst asked Roth how marketers feel about the prospect of consolidation among holding companies, with Roth saying that marketers generally favor competition.

"There's no question with respect to global clients [that] they like the healthy tension of having at least two global holding companies in there. And frankly, it works," Roth said. "We've had long-lasting relationships with multinational clients that we've been sharing with other holding companies and yeah, it does keep us extra on our toes. And clients like to see that."