IAR Bits and Bytes for December 19, 2003

  |  December 19, 2003   |  Comments

ValueClick's aquisition raises its expectations; 24/7 Real Media gains Korean presence; Analytics rivals swap technology patents.

ValueClick Raises Expectations

ValueClick has raised its revenue expectations for 2004, having finalized the acquisition of email list firm Hi-Speed Media earlier this week.

Westlake Village, Calif.-based ValueClick acquired Hi-Speed for $9 million in cash and additional considerations. The deal was contingent on President Bush signing the Can Spam act into law, which he did on Tuesday.

ValueClick provides media and technology for major online marketing channels. Hi-Speed Media offers permission-based email marketing services. The new acquisition brings ValueClick more than 300 clients, including Equifax, LendingTree.com, United Online and InsuranceWeb.

Having snapped up Hi-Speed, ValueClick raised its outlook for fiscal 2004, though it will not include Hi-Speed's results in its fourth quarter results and is reaffirming prior fourth quarter and fiscal 2003 guidance.

Fiscal 2004 earnings for ValueClick were increased to 20 cents to 25 cents a share from prior guidance of 19 cents to 24 cents a share. Wall Street had forecast 23 cents a share.

The company's fiscal 2004 revenue outlook went up to $142 million to $146 million. Wall Street had made a mean estimate of $135.53 million. ValueClick's previous revenue estimate was $134 million to $138 million.

24/7 Real Media Stakes Claim in Korea

Already represented in the United States, Europe and Canada, 24/7 Real Media is expanding into South Korea, acquiring privately held Real Media Korea.

The New York-based interactive marketing and technology company took a small, 8.7 percent stake in the Korean Internet marketing firm several years ago as an exploratory venture. After testing the waters, the company decided to acquire the company.

A spokesman said the company felt that Jae Woo Chung, Real Media Korea's president, developed Real Media Korea "very well" over the last three or four years. Seoul-based Real Media Korea, founded in 1998, sells advertising on behalf of Web sites and works with many major online advertisers in its marketplace. The company also sells 24/7 Real Media's suite of Internet and delivery, analytics and management products.

"It's the best Internet marketing firm in South Korea and we believe the South Korean and Asian marketplaces are really profitable for expansion," a 24/7 Real Media spokesman said.

There are about 26.3 million Internet users in South Korea and International Data Corp. recently projected that online advertising in the Asia-Pacific region will grow more than 400 percent by 2007.

Analytics Rivals Swap Technology

WebSideStory and NetIQ Corp. have signed a cross-license agreement giving each company limited rights to one of the other's patents.

The WebSideStory patent deals with tracking and cookies and the NetIQ patent covers aggregation of results across time periods.

"Such arrangements are often a sort of IP barter transaction in which each receives 'certain rights' to a single patent owned by the other, perhaps to develop a product based on, or using, the other party's patented idea," said Ron Sipherd, a California intellectual property attorney.

NetIQ Corp. is a software vendor in Web analytics. The company analyzes log files to inform companies about the traffic on their sites. WebSideStory is an application service provider in Web analytics, using tags on Web pages to track how many visitors go to clients' sites, The company also tracks such procedures as the check-out process.

Anne Lindberg, a NetIQ spokeswoman, said the agreement did not arise as the result of a lawsuit. The companies were tight-lipped about the agreement, issuing only a short statement.

"We are excited about the agreement. It's good news for the industry leaders in Web analytics and our mutual customers," Lindberg said.

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Janis Mara

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