Omnicom Group Inc. Communicates Another Strong Quarter

Omnicom Group released fourth-quarter 2015 results on Tuesday morning, and shares climbed more than 2% as the company once again demonstrated its ability to weather persistent foreign exchange headwinds.

Let's take a closer look at what the marketing and corporate communications specialist accomplished:

Omnicom results: The raw numbers

Q4 2015 Actuals Q4 2014 Actuals Growth (YOY)
Revenue $4153.3 million $4195.1 million -1%
Net Income (Available for Common Shares) $331.6 million $329.5 million 0.6%
Net Income Per Share $1.35 $1.30 3.8%

YOY: Year over year.

What happened with Omnicom this quarter?

  • Omnicom's top line benefited from a combination of 5.3% organic growth -- which excludes currencies, acquisitions, and divestments -- and another slight increase in revenue from acquisitions.
  • That includes a 12.6% increase in advertising organic revenue, a 1.5% decline from CRM, a 6.9% decline from public relations, and a 5.9% decline in specialty communications.
  • On a regional basis in Q4, organic revenue grew 4.7% year over year in North America, 4.9% in the U.K., 3.5% in Euro Markets and Other Europe, 8.6% in Asia-Pacific, 0.4% in Latin America, and 5% in Africa/Middle East.
  • Organic growth was more than offset by a 6.6% negative impact from foreign currency exchange.
  • Omnicom generated more than $1.6 billion in free cash flow in 2015, helping fund the company's acquisitions and ambitious capital returns programs.
  • In 2015, Omnicom maintained its long-standing streak of returning more than 100% of net income to shareholders through dividends and repurchases:

Data source: Omnicom Group.

  • Omnicom acquired Wednesday Agency Group, a leading integrative creative agency for the fashion, luxury, and consumer lifestyles industry. Wednedsay's primary focus includes fully integrated campaigns, content strategy, digital design and branding, and production.

What management had to say

As Omnicom CEO John Wren said during the subsequent conference call:

[I]t was an excellent quarter for Omnicom. We recruited some of the best talent in our industry, continued to win significant new business, and made a couple of important agency acquisitions. It was terrific way to end the year. [...] We also achieved our margin and net income targets for the quarter and the full year despite significant strengthening of the U.S. dollar and an impact on revenue and [earnings before interest and taxes].

Looking forward

Omnicom doesn't normally provide specific financial guidance, but Wren did elaborate during the call that foreign exchange in 2016 is expected to "continue to be a headwind on our revenue and earnings, but hopefully at a less significant rate."

In the end, it's evident Omnicom continues to hold steady its leadership position as it navigates the shift from traditional to digital advertising and all the while rewarding shareholders for their patience through aggressive capital returns. As we wait for for market conditions and economic weakness to improve, that's as much as investors can ask of this promising company.

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The article Omnicom Group Inc. Communicates Another Strong Quarter originally appeared on

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Omnicom Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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