On the heels of unexpectedly strong growth in 2010, Omnicom Group surprised shareholders and analysts with more good news during an earnings call Tuesday morning.
Analysts did note one area of concern: Omnicom’s U.S. growth, which has slowed. During the call, the holding company pointed squarely at the culprit, as Chief Financial Officer Randall Weisenburger repeatedly blamed the deceleration on the company's losing the Chrysler account to Interpublic Group's Universal McCann early last year. Chrysler was a major U.S. client, providing Omnicom with $47 million in revenue. If the auto company were still in the fold, Omnicom's domestic revenue would have been up 6.8 percent year over year, instead of the 4 percent announced Tuesday.
Omnicom did have plenty of gains to trumpet, though. The company reported quarterly revenue of $3.15 billion, an 8 percent increase over the first quarter of 2010. Despite losses in Japan and the Middle East due to natural and political calamities, the company’s international revenue totaled roughly $1.5 billion—practically half of its revenue for the quarter. Net income for the first quarter was $202 million, up by about 24 percent from the first quarter of last year. This translated to 69 cents per share compared to 52 cents per share a year ago, and beat analysts' expectations.