The banner ad doesn't get a whole lot of love. It was an effective format when it first rolled out -- with one in every 50 served generating a click -- but that deteriorated quickly as Internet users grew used to the graphical intrusions.

As the industry got more intrusive with pop-ups and rich-media pitches, the viewer became flat-out annoyed. Yet while companies such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Ask Jeeves (NASDAQ:ASKJ), and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) are making decent money serving up the more eye-friendly contextual text ads, the world of multimedia online marketing marches on.

DoubleClick (NASDAQ:DCLK) and ValueClick (NASDAQ:VCLK) toil away in a field that the market doesn't fully appreciate. Both companies aren't trading too far away from their Net Net Working Capital. Both stocks took a beating recently after disappointing Wall Street, but let's take a closer look here.

ValueClick saw its profits more than triple as revenues soared by 72% this past quarter. DoubleClick's results weren't as flashy, but the company still generated $9 million in free cash flow.

Each company is sporting more than $3 a share in cash on the balance sheet. Each company has made recent acquisitions to help beef up offerings. And now with Google beginning to serve up graphic ads on its popular AdSense text-based platform for publishers, perhaps we've come full circle and a picture really is worth about a thousand words.

That doesn't mean that it will be a breeze for the Click surnamed companies to thrive in the quarters to come. However, part of the art of uncovering potential winners is digging and dusting in gold mines that many have written off as minefields.

Our Hidden Gems newsletter relishes in stumbling across the undiscovered victors of tomorrow. DoubleClick and ValueClick may not have a lock on the Web-enabled future, but their vaults are green enough to put up a sizeable down payment.

Are rich-media ads ready to give text ads a run for their money? Will the pop-up ever find vindication? All this and more in the Webmaster's Corner discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz is ready to set his Click clock to ticktock. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.