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WPP share price rallies as group posts 2018 at upper end of guidance

Shares in WPP (LON:WPP) have surged in London in today’s session as the ad giant updated investors on its full-year performance, saying that its 2018 had come in at the upper end of its guidance. The company, however, cautioned that it expects 2019 to be challenging.

As of 10:39 GMT, WPP, share price had added 8.09 percent to 892.60p, lending support to the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.48 percent higher at 7,108.69 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 30 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a one-percent dip in the Footsie.

WPP posts FY results

WPP announced in a statement this morning that its reported revenue had dropped 1.3 percent to £15.6 billion last year, while its headline EBITDA had fallen 8.8 percent to £2.3 billion. Profit before tax meanwhile dipped 30.6 percent to ££1.46 billion. The advertising giant, however, said that its 2018 was at the upper end of its guidance given in October.

“Since September, we have made good progress in implementing the new strategy for WPP,” the group’s chief executive Mark Read said in the statement, adding that 2019 will be challenging, “due to headwinds from client losses in 2018”.

MarketWatch quoted Barclays analysts Julien Roch and Emily Johnson as commenting that the group’s results were ‘broadly in line’ with expectations.

Analyst ratings update

The 24 analysts offering 12-month price targets for WPP for the financial times have a median target of 1,000.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 1,520.00p and a low estimate of 800.00p. As of February 23, the consensus forecast amongst 27 polled investment analysts covering the ad giant advises investors to hold their position in the company. 

As of 10:52 GMT, Friday, 01 March, WPP PLC ORD 10P share price is 892.60p.

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