Stock Watch: Sector Optimism Boosts DoubleClick, Others

DoubleClick, Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK) rose 1 3/16 to 41 13/16 Friday following reports of positive analyst comments about the company in particular and the Internet advertising sector in general.

Credit Suisse First Boston reportedly repeated a strong buy recommendation on DoubleClick and said prospects for the group as a whole are looking up. Fund manager Ryan Jacob of the Jacob Internet Fund said concerns about possible curbs on marketing as part of privacy legislation “have been addressed” with the establishment of a set of self-imposed regulations.

Privacy issues and a weak online ad market drove DoubleClick shares down 70 percent from their high this year, said Jacob.

Jupiter Communications predicts that online advertising spending will rise to $16.5 billion (US$) by 2005. About 73 percent of advertisers plan to increase spending for online ads in the next 12 months, the firm said in a recent report.

DoubleClick competitors also rose Friday. ValueClick gained 1 3/16 to 11 Friday, while Engage Technologies (Nasdaq: ENGA) tacked on 1 1/4 to 11 3/16 and Mediaplex (Nasdaq: MPLX) added 3 1/2 to 11 1/2.

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