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What happened

Shares of Bankrate Inc. (NYSE:RATE) are up more than 15% as of 12 p.m. EDT on Friday after the company topped its own guidance in the third quarter.

So what

Last quarter, Bankrate guided for third-quarter revenue of $113 million and adjusted EBITDA of $24 million at the midpoint of their respective ranges. Its results proved to be better than Bankrate expected, as revenue came rose to $128.8 million and adjusted EBITDA jumped to $38.5 million.

The company's credit card segment, which includes, was its star this quarter. Revenue in that segment jumped to $98.3 million, due to a 54% increase in consumer inquiry revenue.

On the conference call, management noted that revenue per consumer inquiry increased by 15% this quarter over the year-ago period, driving some of the increased revenue. It also benefited from a full-quarter contribution from NextAdvisor, an acquisition the company closed on June 20, 2016.

Now what

In light of its third-quarter success, Bankrate raised guidance for the full year, but left its fourth-quarter guidance unchanged. In other words, Bankrate's full-year guidance was raised due to its actual results for the third quarter rather than increased expectations for the rest of 2016.

A big earnings surprise might not be repeatable without some outside help. Its third-quarter earnings likely had some help from the launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. The card, which offered more than $2,000 of travel rewards in the first year according to Bankrate's own The Points Guy blog, was so successful that the bank ran out of blanks for the card shortly after its launch.

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