If you're short Mamma.com
Given the stock's puny float, these events -- occurring just two weeks apart -- were enough to send the stock skyrocketing into the double digits. But neither was all that significant. The company's fourth-quarter profit was fueled by a favorable one-time charge, and to someone with Cuban's riches, the stake was relatively meaningless.
The company would have to earn its keep in the March quarter. It did just that, reversing a year-ago deficit with yet another charge-peppered profit. Disregard the charges, and Mamma.com still produced an operating profit of $0.04 a share from continuing operations.
By shedding its billing technologies business, Mamma.com has become a purer play on the red-hot sponsored search business. While Google's upcoming IPO has drawn attention to the sector, other players like AskJeeves.com
True, Mamma put on quite a bit of weight as diluted shares outstanding jumped from 5.9 million to 10.7 million over the past five quarters. Now that the share price has proven buoyant, the company had better earn the respect of Wall Street by holding back on its generous grants of options and warrants.
With online revenues surging by 135% over the past year, maybe Bruce Springsteen was right when he sang, "Mamma, that's where the fun is" in Blinded by the Light. Just make sure you wear shades. The broader float provides a cushion, but this isn't the kind of stock you want to chase.
You'd do better to let the mania subside and buy in at a price you are comfortable with. Mamma just isn't fun when she's playing hard to get.
Which search engines do you use? Are you a web entrepreneur looking to cash in on the growth of sponsored search results? Where is your marketing dollar put to better use? All this and more -- in the Webmaster's Corner discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz frequents various search portals when he's on the hunt for information, but he does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this story.