When will InfoSpace
Last night, InfoSpace closed out 2005 in fine fashion. Earnings before one-time favorable charges rose from $1.40 to $1.60 per share, while revenues came in 36% higher to hit $340 million.
Even after buying back $70 million worth of its stock, the company's cash balance remains strong, clocking in at $11.16 a share. Back that out to arrive at an enterprise value of less than $450 million. A leading and consistently profitable technology company at just 2.2 times 2005 sales? Let's put this into perspective. Last month, Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Electronic Arts
Adding a little more color to that particular acquisition, EA's buyout price of $680 million would be more than enough to swallow InfoSpace whole, yet InfoSpace's mobile revenues are nearly twice Jamdat's.
Heaving a paint can at the same easel, mobile revenues make up less than half of InfoSpace's revenue mix, and the margins there are substantially lower than in InfoSpace's flagship search business.
Yes, the company's outlook for the current quarter isn't all that hot. It's looking for earnings to come in between $0.03 to $0.06 a share on revenue growth that will be flat sequentially. That is well off what Wall Street was expecting, and it kicks off a fiscal year in which analysts already expect a decline in profitability. It's going to be a challenging year, and to make matters worse, the CFO announced that he was moving on yesterday.
Welcome the calamity. It will give value-minded investors a good chance to buy into a two-headed company that's being valued at less than the sum of its parts. Ringtone peddling may not be as sexy as mobile gaming, but it's clearly a booming business. True, InfoSpace turns to Google and Yahoo! to fill the ad space on its popular Web properties like Dogpile, WebCrawler, and Metacrawler, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, given the supply of targeted ads by the two paid search giants (and their generous payout ratios).
So let it rain on InfoSpace, for now. Just be ready to catch it on the cheap once the sun comes out again.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't all that proud of his ringtones, so don't call him out on it. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story. Rick is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out tomorrow's great growth stocks a day early.