aQuantive Posts Strong Quarter

Internet advertising services and technology firm aQuantive reported net income of $4.1 million, or $0.06 per share in the first quarter, on revenues of $22.6 million. That’s an increase of 121 percent from the same period a year ago.

The company also raised its guidance for the full year. It now expects revenue between $94 million and $102 million for 2004. Net income is expected to come in at between $0.27 and $0.31 per share. Executives attributed the growth to increased spending by existing clients and to new client wins.

“All of our business units are continuing on a strong growth path,” said Brian McAndrews, president and CEO of aQuantive. “And now, with the industry as a whole also growing again, I am even more optimistic about future growth….”

It’s difficult to compare aQuantive’s current numbers with its previous reports as it’s made significant changes in the way it keeps track of things like ad serving revenues and media costs paid to publishers. The company says it’s making the shifts to better reflect income from each segment of the company.

The company said its digital marketing services business, consisting of agencies Avenue A and iFrontier, brought in $9.9 million in the quarter. Operating income for the unit was $2.1 million.

“Growth in this business continues to be driven by existing clients increasing their online ad spending,” said Michael Vernon, chief financial officer.

The technology segment, which comprises Atlas DMT, Go Toast and NetConversions, brought in $12 million in revenues. NetConversions was acquired this past February. The division’s operating income for the quarter was $4.2 million.

Possibly aQuantive’s most dramatic news in the quarter was the addition of a new business unit, DrivePM, which has already served 50 advertisers. Though executives said they were optimistic about the unit’s potential, they don’t expect it to add significantly to the bottom line until next year. In its first quarter, DrivePM had revenues of $785,000. It’s operating loss was $440,000.

The company said it will continue to make investments in client support and product development in the coming quarter. For the second quarter, the company expects revenues to come in between $22 million and $24 million, or $0.05 to $0.06 per share.

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