IPG Stock Surge Rekindles Speculation

NEW YORK Yet another spike in the trading volume of Interpublic Group’s stock grabbed the attention of industry observers and analysts on Tuesday, igniting speculation about who was accumulating shares and for what purpose.

Beyond the obvious explanation that the stock is under-performing relative to its peers and therefore a bargain in the ad sector, analysts were at a loss to explain the trading of more than 7.9 million shares, more than three times IPG’s average volume of 2.4 million. That marks the sixth time since April 15 that IPG’s trading volume had exceeded 7 million.

One analyst estimated that he received “hundreds” of calls from investors and industry watchers inquiring about the surge in volume, but could not offer an explanation beyond the underperformance theory.

IPG’s share price closed at $15.34, up 7.5 percent from Monday’s close of $14.26.

An IPG representative could not immediately be reached.

Other ad stocks, such as Omnicom Group’s and WPP Group’s, rose slightly, to $77.03 and $47.50, respectively, but at nowhere near the volume of IPG. Each of those stocks rose less than 1 percent.