More NewsDoubleClick Posts Profit

DoubleClick Posts Profit

The online marketing technology company returns to profitability and sees an improving online ad climate.

DoubleClick returned to profitability with its first-quarter results Tuesday, after spending a painful year recasting its business.

The company, which jettisoned its media business to focus on technology tools, reported a $1.4 million profit for the quarter on $60.1 million of revenue. While the revenue figure was down from last year’s first quarter, the profit stood in contrast to the $6 million loss the company suffered in that period — an improvement attributable to cost cutting.

The results exceeded DoubleClick’s forecasts, and could be a positive sign for the online ad industry, which was buoyed by another strong quarter from Yahoo.

“The overall Internet advertising market as a whole is not growing as fast as Yahoo’s growing,” cautioned Kevin Ryan, DoubleClick’s chief executive, on a conference call. “The Internet advertising market is picking up, but I don’t think it’s exploding at all.”

Like the portal giant, DoubleClick revised its financial estimates for the year upward. The company now expects full-year net income between 3 and 12 cents per share, up from its earlier forecast of a small loss or 9 cents per share profit. However, DoubleClick held to its revenue forecast of between $250 and $300 million.

On a conference call to discuss the company’s results, Ryan said he was “cautiously optimistic” for the company’s outlook for the year. However, he stressed that corporate spending remained slow, due to economic uncertainties brought on by the war and sluggish consumer confidence.

The war did not affect Internet advertising, at least from DoubleClick’s perspective. The company said it saw a pick-up in ad impressions during March.

In the third quarter, DoubleClick said it would roll out its rich media ad-serving product. Ryan estimated the Internet ad industry generated $40 to $45 million in serving rich media ads.

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