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DoubleClick hits third-quarter forecasts

DoubleClick met analysts' estimates in its third quarter Thursday, returning a profit of $3.7 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $135.2 million.

A survey of analysts by First Call Corp. predicted the online advertising firm would earn 3 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK) shares closed off $3.06 to a 52-week low of $18.13.

The $135.2 million in sales represents a 79 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it posted a loss of $3.8 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $75.3 million.

"Today, we have passed an important milestone for DoubleClick and our shareholders in achieving profitability," said CEO Kevin Ryan in a prepared release. "Each year our customer base in our core businesses continues to grow, and we continue to create new products and add strategically even as we show consistent diligence and preparation in expense control."

Last quarter, DoubleClick topped analysts' estimates when it posted a loss of $3.8 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $128.1 million.

The stock moved as high as $135.25 in January before falling to a 52-week low Thursday.

Twenty of the 24 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

Analysts expect it to lose 5 cents a share in the fiscal year.