Omnicom Group Earnings Call Nuggets: Advertising Outlook, Margin Target

On Tuesday, Omnicom Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMC) reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Advertising Outlook

Alexia Quadrani – JPMorgan: Just a question on the sort of overall advertising outlook that you are seeing right now, has there been in change in sort of client mentality and spending and there was just a little bit of a slowdown versus the stronger growth you saw in the first half. Is that more that, that in (the first half) they have kind of overspent beginning now they are compensating but the mentality hasn’t really changed or are you seeing more a bit of a pull in?

John D. Wren – President and CEO: I don’t think there is any one answer to that question, Alexia. It’s all of the above with the uncertainty that is reported everyday in the newspapers about China being off a little bit, Europe’s not solved yet and the uncertainty with the fiscal cliff as people await the election. There is conservatism and we are not certain yet what the outcome is going to be in the fourth quarter or as you get into the first quarter of next year. We do know that we are performing very well and we are engaged in the positive conversations with our clients. But there is no single answer or generalization I can put – I can come up with to answer you.

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Alexia Quadrani – JPMorgan: But again, it generally feels so like of pretty healthy environment. I don’t want to read too much into it, a slight slowdown in growth, is that fair?

Randall J. Weisenburger – EVP and CFO: We came into the year thinking 4% for the full year was a good number. I still think 4% that range is probably still a good full year number. The timing of spend year-over-year can obviously move around quite a bit. We had a very strong first half, but again I don’t think we’re not ready to change our full year numbers yet.

Alexia Quadrani – JPMorgan: I would just like to follow-up on the margin, you’ve beat expectations now for most of the year. I think you mentioned in the opening remarks, you’re still on target for your goal. I guess, can we assume a little upside given the strength going into the fourth quarter to your year ago for EBITA for the year was a

John D. Wren – President and CEO: No. We’re willing to commit to what we committed to a year ago.

Margin Target

Craig Huber – Huber Research Partners: A question for you on this, your margin target for this year of 13.4%, is there anything, Randy that you’re doing that costs have already been put in place for this year or plenty to do in the fourth quarter that may potentially have a tough cost comparison for 2013?

Randall J. Weisenburger – EVP and CFO: I think I said it for a number of years. I think the margins – our margin target for this year is a very good overall margin given Omnicom’s mix of business and our commitment to constantly invest in our businesses, our training programs, et cetera. I think this year is going to be a very tough comp for next year. I think our agencies are up to that challenge, but I think these are good numbers.

Craig Huber – Huber Research Partners: Then also, could you speak a little bit further what you’re seeing over in Europe, are you sure sensibly the things are getting worse about the same or getting better on confidence levels economic backdrop in your major markets over there?

John D. Wren – President and CEO: There is still a great deal of uncertainty in Europe. Southern Europe the problems are resolved and political changes is recent in France. Ultimately the Germans are going to have to probably pay the bill, but they are going to have to decide when they are going to do that. So, I don’t see any improvement to the European market in the near-term. I think they are at a very fragile point and they seem to be working their way through it, but I’m not prepared or ready to declare it solved in any way, matter, mix shift or (perform). So, we continue to manage our businesses market-by-market, office by office in response to what the changing environment is.

Craig Huber – Huber Research Partners: Then lastly if I could, a quick housekeeping question, Randy could you just break apart your salary line versus O&G and also if your interest expense line, break that apart please?

Randall J. Weisenburger – EVP and CFO: Let’s see, salaries – salary and service cost is $215 million, $216 million and office and general is ($5.03 million), and interest let me see, interest expense is $47.8 million, interest income is $7.5 million.

A Closer Look: Omnicom Group Earnings Cheat Sheet>>