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Lehman Downgrades Omnicom

Lehman Bros. lowered its investment rating on shares of Omnicom Group (OMC) to equal-weight from overweight.

Analyst Kevin Sullivan says news out of the advertising sector suggests that industry woes persist. He notes WPP issued a profit warning on Oct. 24 and gave guidance of modest quarter-over-quarter organic revenue improvement, at best, in Q4 despite easier comparisons. Sullivan says this follows Interpublic Group's downwardly revised revenue guidance last week. Additionally, marketing services and overseas appear weaker than previously thought. While Omnicom should meet Q3 estimates, says Sullivan, the outlook into Q4 of 2003 may be impacted by seemingly weaker conditions. He believes the stock is poised for a breather until tangible signs of a turnaround in fundamentals emerge.

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