Stock Watch: NBCi Contract Lifts DoubleClick

DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK) rose 1 1/16 to 14 3/16 Tuesday after the online advertising firm won a contract from Internet portal NBC Internet, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBCI).

New York City-based DoubleClick said the long-term, exclusive agreement with NBCi will advance its top market-share position in the advertising-management market. The company also said its growing customer base includes about half the sites on the Media Metrix Top 50 list.

Dain Rauscher Wessels reportedly repeated a buy rating on DoubleClick shares following the news.

DoubleClick shares, along with others in the online advertising industry, have taken a beating in recent months. Back in January, the stock traded as high as 135 1/4. A week ago, the shares set a 52-week low of 8 3/4.

On October 16th, DoubleClick posted a pro forma profit in the third quarter — its first black ink ever — but reports of anticipated weakness in the fourth quarter sent the company’s shares plunging. DoubleClick also said it had $894 million in cash and marketable securities at the end of the quarter.

NBCi will use DoubleClick’s DART service to target, manage and track advertising impressions each month across its Web properties. Said NBCi vice president of core products John Rodkin, the service will “enhance our cost savings and ability to target, manage and deliver our advertising with greater sophistication and accuracy.”

The NBC network, a subsidiary of General Electric Co., holds a 39.3 percent stake in NBCi.

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