The hand of a fine maiden that goes by the name of iVillage
NBC will be paying $8.50 per iVillage share in cash for the nuptials. It may not seem like much -- just a 6.5% premium over what iVillage was trading for on Friday, and only a 4.7% premium to what iVillage was fetching the day before that. The $8.50 buyout price is also a 13% premium to where it was last month, when I singled out the stock as one of the attractive 10 Stocks Under $10 for 2006. Then again, go back three years, and the stock could have been had for as little as $0.50 a share.
However, iVillage is far removed from the profitless cesspool that it was back then. Just one year after that nadir, iVillage produced its first profit, and it hasn't looked back since. This past quarter alone, iVillage earned $0.12 a share on a 65% leap in revenues.
NBC may seem like an unlikely party to find itself on bended knee. iVillage had been working on a radio series with CBS
As NBC has seen its namesake broadcasting network flutter in the ratings, its rivals have been gobbling up dot-com real estate. Fox parent News Corp.
NBC had to make a move, and this was a great one. Between iVillage.com, Women.com, and Astrology.com, iVillage commands a sizeable female audience of 14 million unique monthly visitors. It has been monetizing those eyeballs brilliantly, thanks to the contextual advertising services of Yahoo! Now NBC will be able to cash in on the femme hub to market its own struggling lineup of television shows.
But iVillage isn't likely to be the last of the women-centric content sites to be acquired. Two months ago, I recommended shares of The Knot
Things will continue to get interesting for online content juggernauts. And let's not assume that another media company -- or an online portal -- won't enter into a bidding war for iVillage at this point. The price is still reasonable, and the dowry is to die for.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves women so much that he married one. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.