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UPDATE: DoubleClick Breaks Even for Fourth Quarter, Cuts 2001 Profit Forecast

DoubleClick Inc., New York, said last week that it broke even in the fourth quarter last year and that its revenues rose 41 percent to $132.3 million. For the full year, the company said revenues were $506 million, up 96 percent from 1999.

In a conference call with analysts and the media, DoubleClick said net income for the fourth quarter was $216,000, or breakeven. For the full year, the company had a net loss of $13 million, or a loss of 11 cents per share.

The company also said it cut its estimate for profits this year by 4 cents per share, to a loss of 7 cents to 9 cents per share, because it plans to spend $5 million to improve its e-mail business.

Kevin Ryan, the company's CEO, said the money to improve its e-mail services would come from a breakup fee of more than $8 million from NetCreations in their failed merger. He noted that DoubleClick plans to expand its list services business, which has 18 million names under management, and the e-mail newsletter network, which represents more than 120 e-mail publications.

Analysts expected the company to report $124 million to $126 million in revenues for the fourth quarter, down about 7 percent from the third quarter. Earnings per share for the quarter were expected to be between a loss of 2 cents and a loss of 4 cents.

Media revenues for the fourth quarter were $60.4 million, an increase of 19 percent from the same period last year. The proportion of revenues from traditional advertisers rose from about 50 percent in the third quarter to more than 55 percent in the fourth quarter. More than 1,800 customers advertised on the DoubleClick Networks in the fourth quarter, and 88 percent of advertisers in the third quarter also bought advertising in the fourth quarter, the company said.

“We are growing market share in a difficult market,” Ryan said of the company's media business. “I feel very good about the overall financial infrastructure at DoubleClick.”

The company's TechSolutions division reported revenues of $61.5 million in the fourth quarter, up 114 percent from the same period in 1999. The company said revenues from the TechSolutions division for the first time exceeded media revenues in the quarter.

Revenues for the data services division rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter to $17.8 million, largely because of the company's Abacus Direct services.

The company said it expects data services revenue this year to grow by at least 20 percent and TechSolutions revenue to increase 30 percent to 35 percent. However, media revenues for the year are expected to decline 25 percent to 30 percent because of the weak advertising environment and lower expected income from a deal with AltaVista, Ryan said. In 1999, the company received 28 percent of its overall revenues from AltaVista. Last year, it restructured the deal and DoubleClick expects to get only 2 percent to 3 percent of its revenues from the company.

“We have complete confidence in advertising on the Internet,” Ryan said. “We have not seen people switch from the Internet to TV and radio.”

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