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Wall Street Thinks Knotty Thoughts

By Rick Munarriz - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 8:01PM

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The Knot is on a roll again.

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) annual zeitgeist came out this week, detailing the fastest rising search terms in 2008. As you can imagine, it's a hodgepodge of presidential candidates, social networking sites, and American Idol contestants.

However, if you dig down to the leading search engine's most popular niche listings, it would be hard to guess the fastest-growing "diy" or do-it-yourself term. It was "diy weddings" that topped other self-starter endeavors like solar, tile-laying, and television.

Give it some thought, and it's just one more reason to justify the massive run that shares of The Knot (NASDAQ:KNOT) have delivered over the past month. If folks are seeking ways to make their matrimonial ceremonies unique or simply looking for ways to cut corners in these recessionary times, they're not turning to their married friends for referrals. They are turning to the Internet for solutions, falling right into The Knot's popular directory of wedding service providers.

The Knot's stock has risen nearly 50% since bottoming out on Nov. 6.

Save the date. Within minutes of closing near its low of $5.35, The Knot posted better-than-expected third-quarter results. Posting a profit of $0.07 a share on a mere 8% bump in revenue may not seem like much, but it's huge when Wall Street was looking for earnings of just $0.03 a share. It's an impressive turn for a company that had missed analyst estimates in three of the four previous quarters.

The stock bounced back on the report, shooting 24% higher the next day, but that explains just half of the gains. Is the market sold on a turnaround here? Not exactly. Analysts still see the company earning just $0.19 a share this year, and $0.23 a share come 2009. It is far less than the company's 2007 showing.

You also have related weakness elsewhere. Engagement ring specialist Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE) has suffered stateside sales dips for three consecutive quarters. Floral arrangement companies like 1-800-Flowers (NASDAQ:FLWS) and FTD parent United Online (NASDAQ:UNTD) hit multiyear lows last month, even though they clearly have bigger fish to fry than wedding arrangement orders.

So, why is The Knot doing so well? Maybe the market knows something that Wall Street doesn't. Google's own search trends show that budding brides have a bubbling interest in planning their own weddings. It wouldn't surprise me to see one of the three major search engines make a buyout play for The Knot, armed with the knowledge that it will be able to ride a growing trend that just happens to watch over lucrative keywords to sell ads against.

I can't be the only one seeing this, and I didn't even get an invitation to the wedding.

More friends of the bride:

Blue Nile, The Knot, and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz got married years before TheKnot.com was around, and he regrets that. He could have had a punctual person working the video camera that day. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

XO Group Inc. Stock Quote
XO Group Inc.
XOXO
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL
$119.55 (-1.77%) $-2.15
Blue Nile, Inc. Stock Quote
Blue Nile, Inc.
NILE
1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. Stock Quote
1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.
FLWS
$9.86 (-1.89%) $0.19

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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