Why Millennial Media's Shares Soared

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Millennial Media (NYSE: MM  ) got a lot of free advertising from the market today, rolling up to a near-30% gain in early morning trading before settling for a gain of about 18% as of this writing. The mobile-focused ad purveyor upped its revenue guidance from the $173 million-$176 million range by $3 million on both ends after posting a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss. Losses were $0.03 per share, less than the $0.05 per share analysts had expected, and revenue also came in ahead of the $38 million consensus at $39.4 million.

So what: Millennial boosted the apps running its ad platform by 17%. There are now more than 35,000 apps displaying Millennial's ads to 140 million unique users in the United States, according to the company's latest statements. CEO Paul Palmieri noted that the discrepancy between mobile ad costs and mobile ad reach is narrowing, which provides positive tailwinds for the company as well. Palmieri also noted that 75 of the top 100 Ad Age advertisers in 2011 are now Millennial clients.

Now what: Millennial still expects adjusted EBITDA to be negative for the full year, and the company actually decreased the losses expected in its latest guidance by a small amount. Mobile ad monetization hasn't become a cash cow for Millennial yet, but the company's still valued at under $1 billion by market cap. The company may present a very attractive buyout candidate for one of several Internet giants if long-term mobile monetization trends continue to improve.

Want more news and updates? Add Millennial Media to your Watchlist now.

Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more news and insights. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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