IPG Stock Hits 10-Year Low

Industry stocks closed lower in a week when the specter of war continued to cast a shadow over the market. Interpublic Group’s stock hit its lowest level in a decade on Thursday, dropping to $8.85. A Credit Suisse First Boston analyst, in lowering his estimate on IPG’s earnings estimate to 88 cents a share from $1, echoed the concerns many have about the company’s situation: IPG faces costs related to its new credit agreement, which was finalized last week, as well as McCann-Erickson’s loss of Coke Classic and legal fees resulting from the SEC’s investigation of the company. Investors may also have been discouraged by the ad sector’s prospects after Havas issued a bleak forecast midweek, not to mention the company’s worse-than-expected drop in 2002 revenue.