Talking The Customers' Lingo

More companies, particularly blue chips, are turning to outside suppliers for marketing help--mainly in selling to ethnic groups and other hard-to-reach consumers. Serving that niche is Snyder Communications (SNC), which designs complete marketing programs aimed at reaching "high-value" and fairly inaccessible customers.

Snyder's stock, after hitting a low of 20 in mid-April, rebounded to 34 on Dec. 2. Based on a 1997 earnings estimate of 46 cents a share, the stock trades at a lofty price-earnings ratio of 73. So the stock could be vulnerable in a market pullback. Nonetheless, investment pro Andrew Lanyi, who heads Lanyi Research at CIBC-Oppenheimer, thinks Snyder is on the way to 55. "A high p-e doesn't scare me, so long as strong earnings visibility is there," he argues.

TALKING THE CUSTOMERS' LINGO

He thinks the company, whose database has 30 million students in the U.S. and 20 million multicultural consumers--such as Hispanics and Russians--will continue to grow fast. One client, AT&T, accounts for 20% of its business. Talks are under way to renew its contract with AT&T, which ends at yearend. "Snyder is almost certain to get not only a renewal but a much bigger contract from AT&T," says Lanyi. AT&T declined comment. Other big clients: Procter & Gamble, Kellogg, and Pfizer.

Through acquisitions and internal growth, Lanyi sees earnings of 46 cents a share this year and 77 cents next year, up from last year's 18 cents.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
LEARN MORE