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DoubleClick beats Street in 4Q on strong sales growth

DoubleClick Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Tuesday, losing $3.1 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $93.7 million.

First Call consensus expected it to lose 5 cents a share in the quarter.

With charges, DoubleClick lost 38 cents a share. DoubleClick is currently integrating five acquisitions, including NetGravity, Abacus Direct, Opt-in and two joint ventures abroad.

DoubleClick shares gained 2 1/16 to 122 13/16 ahead of the earnings report but fell 8 9/16 to 114 1/4 in after-hours trading.

The $93.7 million in sales marks a 150 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.1 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $45.7 million.

For the year, DoubleClick lost $55.8 million, or 51 cents a share, on sales of $258.3 million compared to a loss of $17.7 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $138.7 million in fiscal 1998.

In the quarter, DoubleClick's TechSolutions division reported record sales of $28.7 million, a sequential increase of 45 percent.

It also added 198 new clients in the quarter, bringing its total to 1,050 publishers.

DoubleClick ended the year with 149 advertisers and agencies using the unique DART-for-Advertiser solutions, representing 445 end clients. In December DART delivered nearly 30 billion ads, breaking over 1 billion ads per day in November. In the fourth quarter 1999, DoubleClick served over 77 billion ads, an increase of 71 percent over the 45 billion ads served in the quarter ended September 1999.

DoubleClick shares hit a 52-week high of 135 1/4 earlier this month after falling to a low of 18 1/16 last January.

Twenty-one of the 23 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects DoubleClick to lost 25 cents a share in its first quarter but turn a profit of 8 cents a share in fiscal 2000.