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ValueClick Falls on Online Ad Exchange Growth Projection

ValueClick Inc., an Internet-advertising company, fell to the lowest level in 10 months after an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos said increased competition from online exchanges may crimp sales.

ValueClick tumbled 7.2 percent to $14.47 in New York, for the lowest closing price since August 25. The shares have declined 11 percent this year.

There has been “continued acceleration of impression buying via online exchanges,” Mark Zgutowicz, a Piper Jaffray analyst based in Minneapolis, said in a research report today, downgrading the shares to neutral from overweight. ValueClick, based in Westlake Village, California, provides online ad campaigns and programs to customers including direct marketers, brand advertisers and agencies.

“As agencies continue to buy away from ad networks -- and ValueClick specifically -- in favor of online exchanges, ValueClick’s media business fundamentals likely deteriorate,” Zgutowicz said in an e-mail today.

Media revenue was $224.6 million last year, or 40 percent of sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Gary Fuges, a ValueClick spokesman, didn’t respond to a voicemail and e-mail requesting comment.

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