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Sources: DoubleClick Shopping E-Mail List Business

DoubleClick is shopping its E-Mail List Services division around and may shut it down if it doesn't find a buyer, according to sources throughout the list industry. What's more, members of DoubleClick's e-mail list management and brokerage staff have quietly been looking for work elsewhere, sources say.

“From what I understand, DoubleClick is getting out of the list representation business,” said a list executive from a competing firm who requested anonymity. “They still plan on being heavy players in the e-mail transmission or deployment business.”

According to these sources, DoubleClick has informed its e-mail list sales representatives that their jobs are safe until the end of the first quarter of 2002.

“They've been told they're OK for the short term,” said one well-placed source who requested anonymity.

DoubleClick is mum on the issue.

“We do not comment on rumors,” DoubleClick spokeswoman Jennifer Blum said.

DoubleClick manages 45 e-mail lists consisting of 38.6 million names. The division employs 13 sales representatives.

Selling or closing the division would be consistent with a widely held industry belief that DoubleClick is moving away from anything related to marketing services and toward being mainly a marketing technology provider.

For example, DoubleClick announced Jan. 18 that it had completed its acquisition of e-mail service provider MessageMedia Inc. for 1 million shares of DoubleClick stock, which was valued at $12.51 million the day the deal closed.

The company has said it will be profitable for 2002.

And in DoubleClick's recent financial reports, technology was one bright spot in 2001.

DoubleClick recently reported that total revenue for 2001 fell to $405.6 million, from $505.6 million for 2000. It also reported a net loss of $265.8 million for 2001, or $2.02 per share, compared with a net loss of $155.9 million in 2000, or $1.29 per share.

Yet DoubleClick said revenue for its TechSolutions division rose to $206.9 million, from $203.4 million a year earlier. For the fourth quarter, however, TechSolutions revenue fell to $51.7 million, from $61.5 million in 2000. DoubleClick's DART and e-mail platforms delivered 172 billion impressions in fourth-quarter 2001, and the company added 54 clients.

Another bright spot was the Data division, which reported 2001 revenue of $81.3 million, up from $72.3 million in 2000. In the fourth quarter, the Data division posted revenue of $19.6 million, up from $17.8 million a year earlier.

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