Millennial Media Expands Ad Base, Increases Revs


Mobile ad network Millennial Media on Wednesday reported that revenue increased 75% in the second quarter, with a growing base of advertisers and app developers using its platform. 

The company posted a net loss of of $2.2 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to a loss of $152,000, or 9 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. The second quarter marked a narrowing loss from the $4 million, or 5 cents a share, from the prior quarter.

Revenue rose to $39 million from $22 million a year ago, and from $33 million in the first quarter. The growth rate of 76% was also up from 53% in the first quarter.

Analysts on average had expected Millennial Media to report a loss of 5 cents a share on revenue of $38 million.

After going public in March, Millennial's stock surged as high as $27.90 a share early on, but lately has been trading below its $13 offering price on broader investor concerns about the emerging mobile advertising space. It's estimated that roughly 70% to 80% of mobile ad inventory goes unsold as marketers face hurdles including a lack of mobile ad standards, fragmentation among devices and platforms, and measurement challenges.

Like most other mobile ad companies that have gone public to date, Millennial is not yet profitable. The well-publicized difficulties of companies like Facebook and Zynga adapting to wider mobile use have also raised doubts about the ability to make money in the category.

Nevertheless, Millennial suggested it is benefiting from the increasing shift toward consuming media on mobile platforms. The company said its network now reaches over 350 million unique users globally, including 140 million in the U.S. More than 35,000 mobile apps also run on the network, which Millennnial CEO Paul Palmieri said reflects “the compelling value proposition we bring to our developer partners.”

Palmieri also said in the company's earnings release that Millennial had expanded its base of advertising clients in the quarter and that its growing trove of user data will help it better provide targeted advertising across apps and the mobile Web.

During the earnings conference call, he added that in addition to its revenue growth, Millennial had increased the number of apps on the network by 17%, and its audience by 15% from a year ago. "That is quite a juxtaposition from a lot of the advertising-catching-up-with-consumers numbers that you see out there," said Palmieri. "If anybody is doing a great job monetizing, we've got the numbers to show that."

For the current quarter, Millennial projects revenue in the range of $43 million to $45 million. For the full year, it expects revenue of $176 million to $179 million. That's up from its earlier estimate of $173 million to $176 million.

In a forecast issued last week, eMarketer predicted mobile ad spending will reach $6.4 billion worldwide this year, including $2.3 billion in the U.S. The global figure is projected to more than triple by 2016 to $23.6 billion, with $10.3 billion coming from the U.S. 


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