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DoubleClick dinged on ad concerns, Blodget comments

DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK) was down 8 percent Tuesday, adding to its Monday decline.

Shares were down 2 7/16 to 29 1/4 Tuesday, and things aren't likely to improve over the summer, as investors take a "let's wait and see attitude" towards the stock, according to a report by Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget.

DoubleClick is one of many companies hit by concerns of an ad spending slowdown. Ad spending will be a key topic on the Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) earnings conference call after market close.

"While we are probably nearing a bottom for DoubleClick, we may not yet be there," Blodget stated. He said the stock has been buffeted by reports of weakness in online ad spending, slower than expected growth in Abacus' offline data business, uncertainty regarding government regulation, and estimate reductions from several analysts.

Merrill Lynch is maintaining its second quarter estimates, and its 2000 earnings of 5 cents a share, but lowering its 2000 and 2001 revenue estimates from $543 million to $532 million and from $851 million to $773 million in 2001, respectively. It has also lowered its 2001 earnings estimates from 43 to 39 cents a share. The firm said the revisions are based on "a more cautious near-term outlook for Q3 and Q4."

DoubleClick will report its second-quarter results after the market closes on Tuesday July 18. Merrill Lynch is expecting net revenues of $124 million, and a loss of 5 cents a share, in line with consensus.

Its competitors include Engage (Nasdaq: ENGA), which has been surging recently and 24/7 Media (Nasdaq: TFSM).

The report added that DoubleClick remains one of a handful of internet companies that will be around for the long haul, and by September, greater visibility on regulatory issues is expected.