Publicis (XPAR:PUB) is the world’s third-largest global ad agency holding company, with many valuable brands such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Razorfish, ZenithOptimedia, and Starcom MediaVest. Publicis has historically been a well-run company with a sound balance sheet and industry-leading margins.
In our view, the business model of ad agencies has attractive economics given their variable cost structure, industry consolidation, and exposure to long-term ad spending and global gross domestic product growth. While the industry as a whole appears to be valued somewhat fully by the market, Publicis has been the recent exception due to concerns over slowing organic growth, a handful of recent account losses and its acquisition of Sapient (its largest acquisition to date), which was seen as expensive. Continue Reading »