was higher in the Monday premarket after U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock on an expected online advertising recovery and high expectations for its new "rich media" unit, Motif.
The brokerage upped the stock to outperform from market perform, raised the price target to $15 from $13, and boosted its estimate of 2004 earnings to 37 cents a share from 24 cents a share. The shares were recently up 66 cents, or 7%, to $10.28 on Instinet.
U.S. Bancorp expects DoubleClick to benefit from higher online ad spending next year and said its current valuation of two times balance-sheet cash, along with an existing buyback program, limits the downside risk. It argued Street earnings estimates, which according to Thomson First Call are for 2 cents a share in the current quarter and 25 cents a share next year, are conservative and unlikely to be missed.
The brokerage also said DoubleClick should start seeing a substantive price contribution from the Motif division starting late next year. The business manages advertising that incorporates rich media, which refers to sound and video content delivered over the Internet.
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray has an investment banking relationship with DoubleClick and makes a market in the stock.