IPG: Revenue Fell 7 Percent in Q3

NEW YORK–Interpublic Group on Tuesday said worldwide revenue fell 7 percent to $1.5 billion in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year.

Earnings per share for the quarter amounted to 2 cents, as IPG said last week in a brief overview of its financial results. That’s 6 cents below IPG’s own October estimate of 8-10 cents a share, and 26 cents below a Wall Street consensus of 28 cents from the summer.

For the first nine months of 2002, revenue declined 10 percent, to $4.5 billion, compared to the same period last year.

IPG also said that the federal Securities and Exchange Commission is “conducting an informal inquiry” into a previously reported accounting imbalance, the bulk of which was within units of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup in Europe. The restatement, which covers five years, from 1997 to 2001, totaled $181.3 million.

“This has been a trying episode for our company,” Dooner said of the internal accounting probe. “We have been diligent and thorough in our review process and are confident that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure (that) the mistakes that led to the restatement do not recur.”

The full financial report came a week later than expected. Dooner and IPG CFO Sean Orr were expected to discuss the numbers more during a 5 p.m. call with industry analysts.