Art & Commerce




Fashion Statement Two “New Age” ad agencies share more than just a preference for pun-inviting name cuteness; they occupy the pole positions, as in northernmost and southernmost, on the stock-price performance chart for the third quarter. Think New Ideas more than doubled in the period, and The Leap Group was one of only three companies in the pack whose stock went down. All things considered, the ad group made a good showing. While the market overall was treading water-the Dow Jones advanced 3.6 percent in the period-six of these stocks beat that, most of them handily. The reasons: First, the underlying business continues to be strong; second, the Dow measures the performance of a narrow slice of the New York Stock Exchange, which is not always representative of much else. In recent months, investors have favored smaller issues, which, when viewed through an investment lens, describe even the largest of the agency holding companies. Basically, then, these issues benefited from a combination of fundamentals and fashion. -Alan Gottesman (westendal pobox.com) is principal of West End Consulting.


THE GOTTESMAN FILE

Ad stocks generally outperformed the market during the third quarter, although there was a wide range from best to worst.

……….6/30/97…..9/30/97…..Change
…..Think New Ideas…..4.13…..10.06…..143.9%
…..Interpublic…..40.44…..51.31…..26.9%
…..Omnicom…..61.63…..72.75…..18.1%
…..WPP Group…..40.75…..45.88…..12.6%
…..CKS Group…..33.75…..37.50…..11.1%
…..Grey…..330.00…..344.00…..4.2%
…..True North…..24.75…..24.81…..0.3%
…..TMP Worldwide…..24.25…..24.13…..-0.5%
…..Cordiant…..6.19…..6.00…..-3.0%
…..Leap Group…..2.75…..2.56…..-6.8%
…..DJIA…..7,672.79…..7,945.26…..3.6%
…..Source: West End Research. Stock prices in dollars/share