DoubleClick Gets Pounded After Offering a Weak Forecast - TheStreet

Updated from 10/12/00

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

shares were being pummeled Friday after the company Thursday matched estimates for third-quarter sales and earnings, but warned analysts against expecting any quick turnaround in the suffering Internet advertising market.

Friday morning the shares were off $5.94, or 33%, to $12.19 each.

The Internet advertising firm's appraisal of the Internet advertising market -- essentially, long-term optimism but short-term weakness -- is in line with the cautious perspective out of Internet advertising leader

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

, which reported third-quarter

results on Tuesday and has seen its stock plummet since.

"Most likely, current conditions won't change until the second quarter of next year," said DoubleClick Chief Financial Officer Stephen Collins. In contrast to remarkably strong first-quarter performances in 2000 and prior years, Collins said that the company expected a slow first quarter of 2001 and a pro-forma loss for the quarter.

But Collins said later, "We feel very comfortable about our ability to execute and deliver strong earnings growth next year."

For the third quarter, DoubleClick reported income -- excluding amortization of intangibles, noncash compensation and nonrecurring items -- of $3.7 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to a year-ago profit of $1.2 million, or a penny per share. The consensus of analysts surveyed by

First Call

was 3 cents. Revenue for the quarter, which also matched analysts' forecasts, was $135.2 million, up from $75.3 million in the third quarter of 1999.

Cognizant of investors' concerns about Internet company cash flows, DoubleClick said it ended the quarter with $894 million in cash and marketable securities on hand, driven by $34 million in cash provided by operations.

On the downside, the company said it was disappointed with the pace and the quality of new business development at its data services subsidiary, the former

Abacus Direct

.