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MDC Partners Lifts 2012 Forecast; Buys Stake In Creative Agency - Update

MDC Partners Inc. (MDCA), a provider of marketing communications services, on Wednesday raised its fiscal 2012 forecast for revenue and EBITDA, a key earnings metric, citing improved performance till date. The company also initiated the payment of a semi-annual dividend. Separately, MDC said it has acquired a significant minority interest in Detroi-based creative agency Doner, with an option to increase its stake to a majority interest at any time.

Regarding its trading, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Miles Nadal said the business has been performing very well till date as it has won some significant businesses, completed three highly accretive strategic investments, and entered into a joint venture in Brazil.

These strategic initiatives have enhanced the overall financial performance of MDC Partners on all significant metrics, benefiting its results and balance sheet, MDC added.

For fiscal 2012, the company lifted revenue guidance by $50 million to a range of $1.05 billion to $1.075 billion. This represents an increase of 11.3 percent to 14.0 percent from last year's $943.3 million.

EBITDA is now expected to be $110 million to $115 million, which is $8 million higher than previous outlook. From the prior year, the revised forecast represents a growth of 21.2 percent to 26.7 percent.

The company also expects EBITDA margins in 2012 to expand by a range of 90 basis points to 110 basis points from last year to 10.5 percent to 10.7 percent. The new forecast is around 30 basis points higher than the initial expectations for the year.

Chief Financial Officer David Doft said, "We are more enthusiastic about the prospects for improved financial performance going forward. We believe that MDC's strategic and financial positioning will enable us to drive significantly enhanced shareholder value in 2012 and beyond."

Further, MDC announced that its Board has declared a semi-annual cash dividend of $0.28 per share, while maintaining the annual dividend rate of $0.56 per share

Regarding its new acquisition, the company said the 600-person independent agency network has over $1 billion in billings and is led by co-CEOs David DeMuth and Rob Strasberg. Doner currently partners with over 35 new and longtime clients including Chrysler Group LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, and DuPont, among others.

Nadal noted that the agency has proven itself as an exceptionally successful micronetwork with an entrepreneurial culture.

MDC shares closed Tuesday's regular trading session at $10.46, down $0.55 or 5 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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