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DoubleClick matches Wall Street forecasts

The online advertiser reports first-quarter earnings that fall in line with analysts' expectations.

Online advertiser DoubleClick today reported a wider first-quarter loss that fell in line with Wall Street expectations.

The company posted a net loss of $13.2 million, or 11 cents per share, for the first quarter ended March 31. In the same period last year, DoubleClick reported a loss of $3.1 million, or 3 cents per share.

The figures were exactly what 22 analysts polled by First Call had projected.

"Every single quarter we hit our loss number on the nose," said Kevin Ryan, president of the three-year-old New York company. "We have been very disciplined about that."

DoubleClick's revenues almost tripled to $110 million from $39.4 million in the year-ago period. Operating expenses climbed to $89.5 million from $33.1 million. The company is spending more in light of increased competition from CMGI, which owns stakes in several Internet advertising properties, Bloomberg News reported.

At 3:30 p.m. PT, after the close of regular market trading, DoubleClick shares were down 75 cents to $59.81. The earnings report was issued at the close of regular trading.

Ryan summed up the first-quarter report as "great" despite heavy criticism that the company suffered during the period for its plans to tack names and addresses to a consumer's online shopping and surfing habits.

Consumer advocates considered the move a severe breach of privacy, touching off a storm of controversy that has led to lawsuits and legislation proposals on Capitol Hill.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.