I don't mean to start a potato salad food fight at the next family reunion, but I think Mamma.com
This is a company that has seen its shares outstanding more than double from 5.9 million to 12.2 million over the past year because of liberal issuances and private placements, only to issue a token share-buyback plan for up to 600,000 shares back in September. This is a company that had the market pumped over a significant profit for its March quarter until investors realized that a large chunk of that was just a favorable income tax charge.
The polarity has been contagious as Mark Cuban invested in Mamma only to cash out, upset over an acquisition that actually made perfect sense for the company.
So that brings us to this two-headed quarter. How can a company grow earnings while earnings per share slide? The answer to the riddle is actually two paragraphs above this one. No, not the Cuban one. Look up! One more. There. You got it. It's those blasted shares outstanding.
While the company earned $283,909 in this year's September quarter, well more than the $185,118 it produced in net profits a year earlier, dividing that by roughly twice as many shares leads to a per-share sum of just $0.02 -- over last year's $0.03 showing during the third quarter.
Mamma has posted a modest profit during every quarter this year. That doesn't mean that investors should be jumping for joy and pointing to the heavens. This is still a small company with a relatively obscure search engine site. However, the emergence of paid search has trickled down to the smallest of players. Yes, Google
But, first things first Mamma. Take a look at the mirror. What do you see? Figure that out and stay true to yourself because you can't be both you and your reflection.
Which search engines do you use? Are you a Web entrepreneur looking to cash in on the growth of sponsored search results? Where is your marketing dollar put to better use? All this and more -- in the Webmaster's Corner discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz frequents various search portals when he's on the hunt for information, but he does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this story.