The market can be so naive sometimes. Two weeks ago, Yahoo!
Search engines have found just what they were looking for in paid search, and the good times are likely to continue in the near term. Third-quarter revenues more than tripled for InfoSpace to $67.2 million, while earnings shot up sevenfold to hit $0.37 a share.
Despite growth initiatives and timely acquisitions, the company's balance sheet is bursting with more than $8.50 a share in cash. If you want to kick yourself, consider that you could have bought shares in the company for less than its cash and short-term investments two years ago. Clearly it's no longer worth less than worthless.
InfoSpace's growth spurt hasn't all come from its search engine ways. While its Switchboard buyout has it situated nicely in the promising online yellow pages business, it's also been growing in mobile music and game products and services. So perhaps in that sense InfoSpace is a better fit with booming Chinese portals like Sina
InfoSpace is upbeat about its future. It is now looking to earn $1.27 a share this year on revenues of just over $240 million. That prices the stock at 42 times earnings -- or just 36 times earnings if you back out the company's greenery to arrive at its enterprise value. Given the company's heady growth and its attractive valuation relative to market leaders Google and Yahoo!, maybe it's time to give the company a closer look. After all, why kick yourself now when you can avoid kicking yourself later?
Riding the wave of folks seeking answers on the Internet has been great for InfoSpace, but where do you find answers when it comes to your computer? Did you see the study over the weekend that found that most users who thought they had clean computers actually had spyware and viruses? All this and more in the Help with this STUPID computer! discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is all for riding coattails as long as you fasten your seat belt first. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story.