DoubleClick losses widen to $103.5M

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New York--DoubleClick Inc. reported a third-quarter net loss of $103.5 million, compared with a net loss of $10.7 million in the year-earlier period.The online media company reported third-quarter revenue of $92.7 million, down from $135.2 million a year earlier. Despite DoubleClick's dismal performance, CEO Kevin Ryan touted the company's ongoing diversification into direct marketing."DoubleClick has successfully executed a diversification strategy, with our direct marketing businesses now making up over 40% of DoubleClick's gross profit," Ryan said. "Marketers tend to shift dollars into direct marketing in tough market environments, and DoubleClick will benefit from this trend." DoubleClick has recently made moves to strengthen its financial position, retiring $20 million in long-term convertible debt and retaining $778 million in cash. This will allow it to continue to make acquisitions, as part of its stated goal to be the leading online advertising company. The company's stock, however, continues to perform poorly; DoubleClick shares are trading in single digits, off a 52-week high of $26.44.DoubleClick has also been placing much emphasis on its software development and marketing businesses to help stem falling online ad network revenues. Most of its work has centered on DartMail, its e-marketing platform. Earlier this month, DoubleClick acquired l90's ad serving and reporting technologies, which analysts expect will help shore up the company's technology business.

--Philip B. Clark

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