Diamonds and Dogs
Advertising is good at Interpublic Group (IPG). The Madison Avenue company easily beat expectations as sales rose 13.3% to $2.41 billion. Interpublic Group is spending billions to acquire data-mining firms to compete better with the targeted advertising models of Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google. Entering the New Year, IPG continues to see opportunities for solid revenue increases and margin improvement. The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 12% to $0.235 per share, boosting the yield to $4.1%.
DISH Network (DISH) has an HBO problem. The satellite-television company is down 5% not far from a 52 week low following earnings. The company actually beat expectations, but sales fell 4.9% to $3.31 billion. The company suffered a net loss of about 334,000 pay-TV subscribers in the December period, partly due to an HBO blackout. Dish's Sling TV business is improving, but Sling customers don't make any money for the company while the loss of satellite subscribers carries a real cost. As one analyst put it, Dish Network financials are in "free fall."