One day after confirming a $100 million investment from Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group, agency holding company MDC Partners reported net new business gains in today’s earnings call despite a challenging year and fourth quarter.

Penn, who will assume the CEO role, also expressed confidence in the company’s “flagship” properties like 72andSunny, CPB and Forsman & Bodenfors, calling them “second to none.”

MDC’s stock price shot up in early trading before leveling off.

"As an expert in this marketplace, I can say that no one has properties today like MDC's flagships."

CFO David Doft attributed much of that 2.5% 12-month dip to ASC 606, an accounting-rule change that the company has repeatedly cited in explaining its financial results over the past year.

EBITDA, generally considered a more reliable number, was $162.6 million in 2018 versus $203.5 the previous year, while net loss for MDC shareholders totaled $132.1 million.

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