Wireless Internet information services provider InfoSpace
This is another sign of strength for CEO Jim Voelker, who replaced co-founder Naveen Jain last December and brought in a new management team. Voelker instituted careful cash management to build up what now amounts to $9.46 in net cash per share and focused on three main operating segments: wireless content provision and management (Mobile), Internet white and yellow pages information (Search and Directory), and Web-based payment authorization (Payment Solutions). In Q3, Search and Directory revenues climbed 50% year-over-year, Payment Solutions gained 32%, but Mobile fell 33%.
Our own Tom Jacobs made the case for aggressive investors on Aug. 26 at $15.52. The stock's up 42% at yesterday's $22.01 close, and 71% at the height of this morning's action. Where from here?
Revenues rose sequentially for six quarters in a row but were flat in Q3, and management's prediction of a Q4 range of $36 million to $39 million augurs the same or less in Q4. And then the company made the curious announcement that it's exploring "strategic alternatives" with investment bankers at Thomas Weisel. How is peddling a fast-growing division going to help bolster ailing Mobile?
It may provide more investment cash. The company named former Terabeam exec Steven Elfman CTO in August in a move believed to be aimed at the Mobile division, and then 10 days ago announced it would spend $25 million to buy U.K.-based Moviso from Vivendi Universal
No matter. This morning's market response strongly signals that investors believe InfoSpace is on its way to better and better things. Trading at 130 times run-rate EPS, it better be.