IAR Bits and Bytes

Engage Meets Guidance, Lowers Estimates

Web ad network and technology firm Engage posted quarterly earnings in line with previous estimates Monday evening, but reduced its predictions for next quarter.

Chief executive Tony Nuzzo called this past quarter — Engage’s third fiscal quarter — “a positive milestone,” and cited what he saw as success during the company’s ongoing restructuring efforts, which included the divestiture of its I/PRO research unit and a 54 percent headcount reduction.

The company posted a cash loss of $0.12 per share, on $23.5 million in revenue. That’s better than the $0.21 per share loss it posted in the previous quarter, on revenue of $28.1 million. But it doesn’t appear that the next quarter will show similar improvement.

“We cannot expect that the positive rate of changes experienced in third quarter will continue,” Nuzzo said.

The company said it is now expecting revenue of $20 million to $22 million, down from $25 million to $28 million previously estimated.

“We are two quarters into a turnaround, but the path ahead far more difficult than any of us anticipated,” said Nuzzo, who added that the company should have enough cash and marketable securities on hand to fund it to profitability sometime in its first fiscal quarter. However, Nuzzo also said the company is considering accepting a $50 million debt or equity offer from corporate parent CMGI.

Net loss for the quarter was $76.6 million, or $0.39 per share, as compared to a second quarter $696 million or $3.53 per share loss last quarter, which included a whopping impairment charge of $528.8 million.

DoubleClick Transitions 55 Clients From Sabela

Alley-base ad network and technology firm DoubleClick said it’s transitioned 55 clients to its DART ad serving system from Sabela Media, which it purchased in May from competitor 24/7 Media.

At the time, DoubleClick said that it would eventually shut down Sydney, Australia-based Sabela but would offer its clients the opportunity to sign on as DART clients.

Clients having agreed to switch over include BMCMedia, OzEmail and i-level.

Wink Communications to Add Interactivity to PSAs

Interactive TV provider Wink Communications will develop interactive content to enhance public service advertisements for the Ad Council’s Child Hunger campaign.

The campaign, sponsored by America’s Second Harvest and the ConAgra Feeding Children Better Foundation, is the first in a series of Ad Council campaigns to enhance television PSAs with Wink’s Enhanced Broadcasting technology. Viewers who have a Wink-capable cable set-top box or a DirecTV receiver can respond to the enhanced PSAs by clicking on an icon seen during the advertisement.

The Child Hunger campaign, created by volunteer ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, seeks to illustrate that the problem of child hunger can only be solved through the acknowledgement that it still exists in the United States. Viewers who click on the enhanced TV PSA receive an informational brochure.

Modem Media Cuts Staff

Norwalk, Conn.-based interactive shop Modem Media said it has cut staff as part of ongoing efforts to reduce costs. As a result, the company laid off 76 employees, or about 10 percent of the company’s global workforce. Sixty-nine of those positions were billable, it said.

Modem Media said it would take a $1 million severance charge in second quarter, but would save $2.7 million over the course of the year.

Modem Media also said it would take an unspecified, one-time charge in second quarter for unused space in its San Francisco office, which it has been unable to sublet.

“We are taking steps to adjust the structure and mix of our client teams to deliver better value to our clients. This shift has reduced the need for selected resources,” said chief executive officer Marc Particelli. “In addition, we continue to manage our resources to the current level and mix of our business.”

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