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What: Shares of online financial data publisher Bankrate (NYSE:RATE) soared 13% today after its quarterly results and outlook topped Wall Street expectations.
So what: Bankrate shares have been crushed over the past year on weak lead generation, but a wide first-quarter beat -- adjusted EPS of $0.12 per share on revenue of $108.4 million versus the consensus of $0.09 and $102.6 million -- coupled with better-than-expected guidance suggests that things are starting to turn. Management cited rebounding credit card demand and improved insurance metrics for the upbeat report, suggesting that its turnaround initiatives -- mainly the transition to higher-quality lead model -- are steadily gaining traction.
Now what: Management expects full-year 2013 revenue to remain relatively flat compared to 2012, implying a top-line of about $457 million and ahead of Wall Street's view of $452.2 million. "We are maintaining our previous position on guidance and anticipate double-digit growth in the [second half of 2013], especially as the current momentum in insurance continues," President and CEO Thomas Evans said. With the stock now up about 30% over the past month alone and trading at a 20-plus forward P/E, however, I'd wait for some of the optimism to fade before buying into that turnaround talk.
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