No matter how you slice it, InfoSpace (NASDAQ:INSP) is in the black. The company officially posted $1.03 a share in March-quarter earnings as revenue surged 59%. However, the bulk of those profits came from the sale of its Payment Solutions subsidiary. Skim a little more to account for the partial quarterly contribution from Payment Solutions and you still get an operating profit of $0.15 a share from continuing operations.

It wasn't long ago that Wall Street figured InfoSpace was practically worthless.

The balance sheet now rests top-heavy with $380 million -- or nearly $11 a share -- in cash. That leaves one scratching one's chin as to how this company could have been so unloved two years ago that it traded in the single digits.

A little over $100 million of that cash will go to close the purchase of local search engine and Five Stocks Under $10 focus Switchboard (NASDAQ:SWBD), but the company is clearly on solid financial footing. That will allow it to either continue to grow its business through acquisitions or possibly take some chances by investing in new growth areas.

InfoSpace is raising its guidance for 2004, too. It is now looking to produce operating profits from continuing operations in the range of $23 million to $27 million. Revenues will come in between $195 million and $205 million.

Playing in the lucrative field of Internet searches, while taking part in the vibrant growth opportunities in wireless, InfoSpace is in ideal areas but hasn't always been the ideal company. It hasn't been as consistently profitable as peers Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Ask Jeeves (NASDAQ:ASKJ), and (NASDAQ:FWHT). However, this is a sea so potent that most ships are rising.

With its solid financial position and timely acquisitions, I'm not sure what type of ship InfoSpace is right now. But it's clearly not a junk.

Riding the wave of folks seeking answers on the Internet has been great for InfoSpace, but where do you find answers when it comes to your computer? Have any bugs that just won't go away? All this and more -- in the Help with this STUPID Computer! discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't know what to wear to the search (engine) party. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story.