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ValueClick Stumbles on Weak Forecast

The company cites a shortfall in its leads business.

Shares of



tumbled Tuesday after the company said sales would be lower than expected for both the third quarter and the full year.

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The online advertising service company attributed the shortfall to weakness in its lead generation business.

ValueClick was recently off 12.1% to $24.42. Shares had gained more than 40% over the last month amid an increasingly bullish outlook for the sector and speculation that the company could be the target of a takeover.

For the third quarter, ValueClick now expects sales of $156 million to $157 million, down from prior guidance of $155 million to $165 million. The company reaffirmed third-quarter earnings guidance of 16 cents to 17 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 17 cents on revenue of $159 million.

For the full year, the company now expects sales of between $635 million and $640 million, down from earlier projections of $645 million to $660 million. Analysts were expecting $650 million.