Why Bankrate, Inc. Shares Bounced Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Bankrate, (NYSE: RATE  ) soared nearly 20% after the company announced better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and solid forward-revenue guidance.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 31% year over year, to $122.3 million, which translated to adjusted net income of $16.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share. Analysts, on average, were looking for earnings of just $0.17 per share on sales of $120.16 million.

In addition, fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $35.4 million, or 28.9% of revenue.

For the current quarter, Bankrate expects revenue between $125 million and $130 million, with adjusted EBITDA between $33 million and $36 million. For the full year 2014, Bankrate says revenue should arrive in the range of $520 million to $530 million, with adjusted EBITDA between $145 million and $150 million. Both adjusted EBITDA ranges represent roughly 20% growth over the same year-ago periods.

Meanwhile, analysts were modeling first quarter and full year 2014 sales of $127.13 million and $522.51 million, respectively.

Now what: Bankrate's results were definitely solid, but, at best, the stock looks fairly valued after today's pop, trading around 24 times this year's expected earnings. Barring any massive upside surprises going forward, I think there are plenty of more attractive stocks in which investors can put their money to work now.

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