If you've been following Rick Aristotle Munarriz's recent coverage of online text advertising company FindWhat.com
The Ft. Myers, Fla.-based company said this morning that 2003 financial results, powered by a strong holiday quarter, will come in better than expected. Revenues are seen jumping to about $71.5 million, up 67% from year-ago levels. The full-year estimate for earnings per share, meanwhile, was boosted a penny to $0.51 (or $0.81 pre-tax). Wall Street, for what it's worth, was tracking the lower number per previous company guidance.
News like this, along with last week's announcement that the company will work with Verizon
What has me intrigued about FindWhat.com is its potential to generate some serious cash flow down the line should it continue to grow -- and maintain its competitive position in a crowded market that includes LookSmart
FindWhat.com has delivered operating cash flows ahead of net income all year. The fourth quarter shouldn't be any different. Free cash flow has been strong in 2003 and helped the company build on 2002 and 2001 inflows -- in short, its financial position is steadily increasing while its balance sheet stays clean. A June private placement that raised about $20 million certainly helped, and capital expenditures aren't seen growing significantly.
At 35 times projected 2003 earnings, FindWhat.com's shares aren't cheap, though they're down significantly from mid-September highs. A fast-moving (though also fast-growing) industry complicates matters -- as does ongoing patent litigation brought by Yahoo!'s Overture division. In the meantime, however, FindWhat.com is a company well worth tracking.
Can FindWhat.com continue to successfully compete with the likes of Google and Yahoo!'s Overture? See what Fools on the FindWhat.com discussion board have to say.
Dave Marino-Nachison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .