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Agency.com: Agent to the Brick-and-Mortar World

As has been seen with many examples, transitioning from brick-and-mortar to the Web frontier is no easy task. Yet, brick-and-mortar companies realize they need to do it. To get companies on the Web, there is a new profession: e-consulting. These are high-end, one-stop shops for branding, e-commerce, customer service and content.

As with any high-growth market, the competition is fierce. But there are certain leaders that should do well over the long-term. One is Agency.com. (ACOM). In fact, despite the competition, the company has flourished.

By being a full-service provider, Agency.com is able to forge long-term contracts for major companies. This adds stability to the revenue base. What's more, the customer base is quite diverse, including such companies as 3M, Bank of America, British Airways, Colgate-Palmolive, Compaq, Gucci, Nike, Heineken and Texaco.

But Agency.com will not rest on its laurels; rather, it has struck alliances with Sun Microsystems and Intel, so as to accelerate the growth of its customer base. Agency.com is also engaging in an aggressive acquisitions strategy, which is a fast-way to add valuable headcount to the company, as well as customers.

But most importantly, Agency.com attends to the needs of its clients. For example, the company has recently offered services for the wireless application protocol (WAP) and interactive TV.

The financials are strong. In the fourth quarter of 1999, the company generated $31.3 million in revenues, which was up 317 percent from the same period a year before. In all, the company has more than 1,100 employees in five countries.

The e-consulting marketplace is still in its infancy. So far, Agency has made much progress fortifying their technology expertise while remaining on the cutting edge of creativity. Interestingly enough, the company is expected to achieve profitability by summer. In the New Net Reality, this should definitely be refreshing -- and reassuring -- for investors.