Loss At DoubleClick; Layoffs At 24/7 Media

NEW YORK — DoubleClick Inc. reported tepid first-quarter revenue growth and a deeper loss in part because of restructuring charges at the online advertising services company.

Separately, rival 24/7 Media Inc. (TFSM) announced another round of layoffs and said its chairman resigned. The company cut several hundred jobs at the end of last year amid a sharp slowdown in the online-ad sector. DoubleClick (DCLK), the industry’s largest player, has announced two rounds of layoffs since December.

At 4 p.m. EDT on the Nasdaq Stock Market, shares of DoubleClick were down 61 cents, or 4.8%, at $12.01. In after-hours activity, the stock fell to $11, according to Island ECN.

Late Thursday, DoubleClick said its net loss came to $60.4 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a loss of $18.4 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding severance charges and other items, the company had a loss of $10.5 million, or eight cents a share, in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting a loss excluding items of nine cents a share.

Revenue rose 4.3% to $114.9 million from $110.1 million a year earlier, but was down 13% sequentially from $132.3 million in the fourth quarter.

DoubleClick had warned in January that it would post a loss of seven cents to nine cents a share in the first quarter, excluding goodwill amortization and other items, wider than its previous forecast of a loss of five cents to seven cents a share. DoubleClick also said revenue would be between $110 million and $115 million.

In its earnings release Thursday, DoubleClick said it now sees a second-quarter loss, excluding items, of between five cents and seven cents a share, on revenue of $100 million to $105 million. Analysts were looking for a second-quarter loss of two cents a share on revenue of $122 million, according to Multex.com.

Chief Financial Officer Stephen Collins said in prepared remarks that the company needs to “manage … operations tightly, and not be overly aggressive in our revenue projections,” as it waits for the economy to turn around and ad spending to pick up.

Separately, 24/7 Media, New York, said it is eliminating more jobs and said Chairman R. Theodore Ammon resigned. The company said it was cutting 100 positions, or about 11% of its work force, and will close certain offices. It will have 850 employees after the layoffs. The company also announced that Tony Plesner, formerly senior vice president of strategic planning, will become chief operating officer.

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