Every investor makes bad calls from time to time. Some of us get it wrong publicly. And when I say “some of us,” I mean me. Two thumbs, pointed inward. Thanks, ValueClick (Nasdaq: VCLK).

Last night, the dot-com survivor proved itself resilient in handily beating analyst estimates for first-quarter revenue and earnings. More on the details of ValueClick’s results momentarily. First, here’s a closer look at the business from a Foolish perspective:




Operates affiliate marketing and display advertising services and a number of consumer facing Web properties, including Pricerunner and Investopedia.

CAPS Rating (out of 5)


Total ratings


Percent bulls


Percent bears


Bullish pitches

91 out of 97

Highest rated peers

PHOTOCHANNEL NETWORKS, Internet Initiative Japan, iPass

Source: Motley Fool CAPS. Data current as of May 4.

My concern had been with ValueClick’s top-line growth. An inconsistent performance over the past three years offered little comfort to me as an investor. Turns out I should have paid more attention to guidance than history.

Revenue rose 22% year-over-year to $116.5 million in the first quarter while profit soared 50% to $0.21 per share. Analysts had been expecting $111.97 million and $0.17 a share, respectively.

Management also issued strong second-quarter guidance. ValueClick expects $120 million to $122 million in Q2 revenue and $0.25 to $0.26 in adjusted profits. Both projections came in well above Street targets. As a result, shares of ValueClick are trading up more than 10% as I write this afternoon.

So I stand corrected. Crow, meet mouth. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) may still lead in search and display advertising, but ValueClick and its patchwork quilt of Web properties remain as relevant as ever.

Do you agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think about ValueClick’s report, approach, and competitive differentiation using the comments box below. You can also rate ValueClick in Motley Fool CAPS.

The Motley Fool recently introduced a free My Watchlist feature that allows users to stay ahead of the curve and receive up to date news on companies like ValueClick, or any of its peers or competitors. To get up-to-date news and analysis, add these companies to your watchlist today:

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn’t own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Yahoo! and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Don’t worry; its disclosure policy is always just a click away.