Online Ad Surge Sends aQuantive Profits Up 76%

aQuantive on Thursday reported strong fourth-quarter revenue--up 53% year-over-year, while profits nearly doubled. The digital marketing company's revenue for the quarter was $133.4 million, up from $87.5 million. Net income was $20.4 million, up from $11.6 million.

The company's digital marketing unit, which includes Avenue A/Razorfish, saw revenue of $80.6 million--up 50% from the same period a year before. Operating income was $20 million, doubling year-over-year.

"We experienced terrific financial results across all of our operating units," said Brian McAndrews, president and CEO of aQuantive.

Avenue A/Razorfish has seen profits and prospects rise with international expansion this past year through acquisitions in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and China. Last month, it struck a partnership with Dentsu to open an office in Japan.

"We believe the quarter performance was a strong one," Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Fine said in a research note released Thursday. "We continue to like the shares of AQNT as it is a high quality name in the interactive agency sector and should also benefit from growth internationally as it expands outside the U.S." Merrill maintained its buy rating on aQuantive stock.

aQuantive saw marketing technology revenue rise $35.2 million--up 18% from fourth-quarter 2005. Performance media, which includes the DrivePM ad network, had revenue of $17.7 million--up from $7.9 million year-over-year.

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