In the online marketing space, comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) is a trusted brand. From March to December 2006, the company received more than 16,500 mentions from third-party media outlets. Yesterday brought even more ink, as comScore held its IPO, and its stock price skyrocketed 42% to $23.47.

The company calls itself a "digital marketing intelligence platform," aimed at helping firms measure the behaviors and demographics of online users. comScore maintains a global panel of more than 2 million online users who have granted permission to the company to track them. To pull this off, comScore has built a super-sophisticated proprietary database that crunches information on 182 million Web pages and 4.5 billion URL records each week -- a whopping 28 terabytes of data every month.

In 2006, comScore posted a 31% increase in revenue, to $66.3 million, and generated $10.9 million in cash flow from operations. The revenue comes mostly from subscriptions, which gives the company a predictable recurring stream. Marquee customers include Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Despite able competitors such as Compete, Hitwise, and NetRatings, comScore maintains a massive infrastructure, a broad product offering, and large survey panel -- all solid competitive advantages.

With the proceeds from its IPO, comScore can continue to fuel its growth ramp. It can mine new opportunities from the emergence of online video, widgets, IP television, and other new-fangled media technologies. The firm should also get lots of traction in markets abroad.

With online advertising continuing to grow at a rapid clip, comScore's services will be a "must have." Its space is also in the midst of rapid consolidation, as seen with the recent buyouts of aQuantive (NASDAQ:AQNT) and 24/7 Real Media (NASDAQ:TFSM). Closer to home for the company, in the past year Experian bought Hitwise and Nielsen acquired NetRatings.

In short, comScore seems to have the right stuff at the right time.

Further Foolishness:

aQuantive is a Rule Breakers pick. Microsoft is an Inside Value selection. Yahoo! is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Take any of our newsletters for a 30-day free trial.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli, author of The Complete M&A Handbook, does not own shares mentioned in this article. He is currently ranked 1,831 out of 30,414 in CAPS.