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.

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