This isn't FindWhat.com
FindWhat's fourth-quarter numbers don't appear to be so bad on the surface. That's because the company's revenues nearly tripled, which is impressive until you realize that it's not all organic growth. The company has made some significant acquisitions, and while I think they were all sound moves, diluted shares outstanding are up by 38% over the past year as a result of the buying spree. That's why one is right to be cynical when one reads about a 179% top-line spurt.
If you go by revenues per share it's still a fair showing -- results more than doubled -- but then you get to the bottom line with $0.15 in reported earnings per share mirroring the previous year's showing and you begin to realize why the market is disappointed.
Things looked so much better for the company a little over a year ago when I singled out the stock as my recommendation for Stocks 2004. All 11 companies in that annual publication went on to produce gains over the 12 months that followed.
Thankfully I went in a different direction with my pick for Stocks 2005 as FindWhat's stock has been thrashed in recent weeks. No, it's not right to compare FindWhat to the contextual advertising disasters that we are now seeing in other paid-search players like Mamma.com
But FindWhat is not heading backwards. Its ads generated a record 251 million clickthroughs this past quarter and its outlook for 2005 is respectable. The company is looking to earn between $0.69 and $0.85 a share this year -- well above the $0.60 a share in profits it produced last year -- with revenues (on a slightly more organic basis) growing by at least 48%.
That's why the stock is a great deal at this morning's prices. After last night's spill, the stock was marked down to just 13 to 16 times this year's earnings. Even if Google's coattails now lay separated and motionless under its feet, FindWhat's an attractively priced growth stock right now. All it needs now is a tailor to sew them back on.
Want some more?
- It's not too late to order Stocks 2005.
- Read about the market-thumping performance of Stocks 2004.
- Check out the company's highlights last year.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still believes in the paid search sector and owns shares in FindWhat.com. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.