DoubleClick

(DCLK)

vaulted higher Monday after announcing it had hired a financial adviser to explore options that include a possible sale of the company.

The New York-based Web advertising and market research firm hired Lazard Freres to study options including a sale of part or all of its businesses, a recapitalization, an extraordinary dividend, a share repurchase or a spinoff. The news sent the stock up 59 cents, or 9.3%, to $6.95, a price that remains about 43% below its 52-week high of $12.14.

At its current level, DoubleClick fetches about 36 times the 2004 Thomson First Call consensus of 19 cents a share, having swooned in both April and July in the wake of disappointing earnings guidance. The stock peaked at $134 in January 2000.

Last week, the company posted third-quarter earnings of $15.4 million, or 12 cents a share, up from $6.3 million, or 4 cents a share, last year, and said adjusted earnings were better than expected. It also lowered its fourth-quarter earnings forecast to $72 million to $77 million, below the Thomson First Call consensus of $79 million.