DoubleClick Tops Street, Sees Flat Q2

Web ad giant DoubleClick again topped pro forma earnings expectations, but also again posted a net loss — and lowered next quarter’s revenue estimates.

Revenues for the New York-based firm totaled $83.7 million, leading to a net loss of $6 million, or $0.04 per share. Last quarter, revenues topped $96 million, while DoubleClick posted a net loss of $64 million, or $0.48 per share. (That loss was due to a $65.7 million one-time, non-cash charge.)

On a pro forma basis, the firm posted income of $1.4 million, or $0.01 per share, slipping slightly from last quarter’s $1.6 million, or $0.01 per share. That’s an improvement over its earlier guidance and Wall Street consensus, which had expected a pro forma loss of $0.04 per share for the quarter, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

“This quarter we once again made great strides in building a long term profitable and successful company,” said DoubleClick Chief Executive Kevin Ryan.

DoubleClick’s technology division contributed to about $50.4 million of the company’s quarterly revenue, though the unit’s revenue — like that of its other divisions — dropped slightly from last quarter due to seasonal conditions, executives said.

Meanwhile, the company’s Data division, which consists of offline co-op database Abacus Direct, posted revenue of $18.2 million.

Revenue from DoubleClick’s Media division totaled $16.3 million. The company said gross margins improved in its North American ad network through better management of publisher relationships and an emphasis on direct marketing dollars.

Next quarter, DoubleClick gave guidance for revenues of $77 million to $82 million — below the Street’s expectations of $89.6 million in revenue. That’s due to expectations of flat performances from two of its three divisions, and lowered revenue for its Media unit, between $11.5 million to $13 million.

On a per-share, pro forma basis, the company said it expected to post between a penny loss to a penny in profit, in line with analysts’ predictions of a breakeven quarter.

Despite the flat predictions, executives pointed to DoubleClick’s growth in gross margins to 61.7 percent, from 57 percent a year ago as evidence that the company is streamlining operations in preparation for a rebound in the online advertising market.

“The disciplined choices of the last year are bearing fruit on the bottom line as gross margins came in the highest in DoubleClick’s history, capital expenditures were tightly managed, and operating expenses were down 37 percent versus last year,” said Chief Financial Officer Bruce Dalziel. “I am very happy to see the successful culmination of our efforts to manage costs across the board. Incremental revenue should be highly accretive for us going forward.”

DoubleClick also said it had $745 million in cash and marketable securities remaining at the end of the first quarter.

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