Omnicom Group Earnings Call Nuggets: Q4 Growth and the Euro Market

Omnicom Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMC) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Q4 Growth

James Dix – Wedbush Securities: Just two things I guess one, what was driving the particularly strong growth organically that you saw in the U.S. in the fourth quarter I know you’ve in the past cautioned people not to focus too much on particular quarters and particular regions but it is an important region for you and then just looking into 2013. This year outlook for the U.S. at the moment kind of in line with your outlook for kind of modest global growth is your outlook for the U.S. little bit faster or slower than that?

John D. Wren – President and CEO: First with respect to the fourth quarter. I think we’ve been saying this consistently for a very long period of time. There is a certain element of budget, which is very difficult to predict as to whether clients are going to spend it or if it’s actionable, if they are going to delay spending. What we saw throughout the quarter, especially after the election in the U.S. was a commitment by clients to continue to spend those budgets to try to increase their market share and that’s the attitude today across the board I think in month on most of our major clients, especially in the U.S. At this point, in terms of what we expect there is still a bit of uncertainty out there and from a consumer point view we haven’t had enough time or enough data to measure the impact of the – and not the upper bracket tax rates, but the payroll tax $1,000 that Congress took away and there is still uncertainty on part of many clients as to how the U.S. Government’s going to deal with sequester. So, it’s a little too early for us to give you an accurate prediction, but we are planning our business for a modest growth and being a service business we think that’s prudent because that help us contain costs, while staying nimble enough, as I said earlier, to take advantage of spending as it comes through.

James Dix – Wedbush Securities: This growth, I mean, do you mean like growth slightly lower than what you saw in 2012? I know in some conferences you made some allusions to what you mean by that, but if you had anymore granularity given this opportunity that would be great and then I am done.

Randall J. Weisenburger – EVP and CFO: Mark, this is Randy. My personal view is 2013 feels a lot like 2012 from say an economic backdrop standpoint, but we don’t have the Olympics this year, so I certainly think there’s a little bit of spending, a little bit of revenue on our numbers associated with the Olympics that’s likely not to be there next year probably that is as accurate as we can get at this point.

The Euro Market

Alexia Quadrani – JPMorgan: My question is just on the euro market and the softening we saw in the quarter. I guess any comment on how that’s progressed does it get worse as the quarter went on, should we assume it will continue weaken a bit in the first quarter or should it be – are you looking at a bit more stability in 2013. I know it’s difficult to predict, but any color you can give us would be great.

John D. Wren – President and CEO: Some of the decline were – can be tracked to specific client reductions as opposed to economic situations. The marketplace – I mean, Europe is in an uncertain position. We don’t expect any vast improvements anytime soon and we’re planning accordingly Alexia. So, I’m hopeful that it’s brighter than that, but…

Randall J. Weisenburger – EVP and CFO: I think that’s right. I mean, I can’t tell you how it tracked over the course of the quarter, I haven’t looked at that. I do think the positive performance that we have in Europe was really driven by strong specific agency performance, new business wins, innovative ideas for clients that drove the growth rather than economic growth.

Alexia Quadrani – JPMorgan: I guess in terms of how you are budgeting, you are not necessarily assuming a step down or you just being very careful on cost because you don’t really know what the environment will come out and…

John D. Wren – President and CEO: We are not planning a step down at this point, but we are not planning any growth either. So this is a steady state plus cost there, if you make the mistake of adding them they get to be very expensive when you try to take them out. So we have been prudent but we haven’t. There hasn’t been a dramatic change.

Alexia Quadrani – JPMorgan: Then jumping back to the U.S. the decrease in the pharma client base seemed it lessen a bit do you think we are sort of over the worst in that sector in terms of the drop off or you think it still be a challenge in ’13?

John D. Wren – President and CEO: I think where a lot of what had factored off on business probably behind us, so that’s a great area for us I think in 2013 as we move forward.

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