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ValueClick 1Q results mixed, 2Q outlook lackluster

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of ValueClick slumped 16 percent Wednesday after the digital marketing company just shy of Wall Street revenue expectations for the first-quarter, as did its outlook.

Cantor Fitzgerald stripped the company its buy rating and cut its price target.

Revenue increased 13 percent to $165.4 million, but that was short of the $166.7 million analysts had projected, according to a poll by FactSet.

ValueClick forecast second-quarter adjusted earnings between 38 and 40 cents per share on revenue in a range of $164 million to $168 million.

Analysts were looking for earnings of 41 per share on revenue of $175.3 million.

"As we mentioned during our recent analyst day, short-term disruptions will occur as we integrate multiple offerings and geographies," said President and CEO John Giuliani. "We are confident that our strategic initiatives will best serve the long-term interests of our advertisers and shareholders."

ValueClick Inc. posted net income of $26.3 million, or 34 cents per share. That's up from $21.6 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out stock-based compensation and other items, earnings were 42 cents per share, which beat the 40 cent per-share projections of analysts.

Total operating expenses declined to $61.3 million from $62.9 million.

Media revenue rose to $96.3 million from $80.7 million, while revenue from owned and operated websites climbed to $31 million from $28.7 million. Affiliate marketing revenue increased to $38.3 million from $37.1 million.

Youssef Squali of Cantor Fitzgerald said that while first-quarter revenue climbed from a year ago, the growth was down from the fourth quarter's 14 percent increase.

ValueClick's new forecast for full-year revenue growth of 12 percent to 14 percent could be aggressive considering the first-quarter performance, Squali said. He cut his rating to "Hold" from "Buy" and trimmed its price target to $31 from $32.

ValueClick's stock fell $5.15 to $26.59. Over the past year, the shares have traded in a range of $13.80 to $32.25.

Also on Tuesday, the company announced that it boosted its share buy-back program by about $61 million, to $150 million.