Following on RBA analyst Jordan Rohan's theory last week that government regulators may investigate and possibly shut down ValueClick's lead-generation business--thus throttling the company's growth--the Stanford Group seems to agree. Stanford, in fact, suggests that such an FTC investigation may already be underway:
- While it is unclear that ValueClick is [being investigated], the practices being investigated could negatively impact ValueClick's lead-generation business.
- Although penalties could involve some disgorgement of past profits, the greater impact of any consent decree (whether or not it directly involves ValueClick) is likely to be limits on certain types of ads going forward...
Either way, doesn't sound good for ValueClick, but the market certainly doesn't seem concerned. Perhaps folks are assuming that if ValueClick were the target of an FTC investigation it would have to disclose this. The trouble with this logic is that, if Stanford's right, any change in the rules could affect the company, whether or not it is directly investigated. Also, the FTC might just not have gotten to it yet.