DoubleClick Meets Q1 Estimates, But Sees Loss for Year

Online advertising company DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK) reported first-quarter results 2001 that were in line with its goals, but warned that a sluggish market for Internet advertising will mean a loss for the year.

The New York City-based firm also said that it expects its Japanese unit to go public during the second quarter.

DoubleClick said that its loss for the first quarter ended March 31st, before non-recurring charges, totaled US$10.5 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a loss of $13.15 million, or 11 cents, a year earlier. Analysts were looking for a loss of 9 cents.

After factoring in extraordinary items, including a $29 million restructuring charge to cover job cuts and other cost-saving moves, DoubleClick posted a net loss of $60.42 million, or 48 cents per share, against a loss of $18.37 million, or 16 cents, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4 percent from a year earlier, to $114.9 million. Revenue from media operations fell 23 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, to $46.1 million.

Traditional advertisers made up 59 percent of the total, up from about 55 percent a year earlier.

Stock Takes a Holiday

DoubleClick shares closed at $12.01 Thursday, compared to a 52-week high of $80.25. The results were released after the close of trading, and U.S. markets were closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.

The company’s stock, along with those of others dependent on Internet advertising, has taken a beating as the market for online ads has dried up.

In December, DoubleClick said that it would cut 5 percent of its workforce in a bid to deal with the downturn. In March, the company slashed another 10 percent, mainly in its media business.

Bleak Outlook

For the second quarter, DoubleClick projected a pro forma loss of between 5 and 7 cents per share, on revenue of $100 million to $105 million.

Revenue for the year is likely to be between $425 million and $450 million, with a pro forma loss of 18 to 22 cents per share, DoubleClick said.

Some analysts had expected the company to post a profit for the year. The consensus was for pro forma earnings of 3 cents per share.

“Online marketing is soft right now, along with the whole economy,” said DoubleClick chief financial officer Stephen Collins, adding that company officials wanted to avoid being “overly aggressive” with revenue projections.

Glass Half Full

Collins also said that DoubleClick’s “strong financial position” — the company has $831 million in cash and marketable securities and $257 million in long-term debt — gives it “a leg up in considering possible acquisitions and opportunities for internal growth.”

Despite the mixed results, chief executive officer Kevin Ryan remains optimistic.

“Ironically, the tough industry environment has resulted in DoubleClick having a better competitive position than ever before,” with more than half of the Fortune 100 companies using the company’s networks, Ryan said.

Japan, China Strong

International operations made up 28 percent of revenue during the first quarter, with China and Japan seeing “particularly strong” business, DoubleClick said.

DoubleClick Japan will complete its initial public offering by April 25th, raising between $16 million and $28 million, the company said.

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