FindWhat Has Solid Q2

Paid search company returned another quarter of solid growth Monday, as its paid listings network showed solid growth in click-throughs.

For the second quarter, FindWhat reported revenue of $17.5 million, an 80 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Net income was $2.7 million, or 12 cents per share, meeting analysts’ expectations. FindWhat was taxed at a 38 percent rate in the quarter. Before taxes, the company earned $4.3 million.

Driving the Fort Myers, Fla.-based company’s revenue growth was a sharp increase in paid click-throughs. In the quarter, FindWhat recorded 98.4 million clicks, up 10 percent from last quarter. Average price per click remained stagnant at 18 cents, unchanged for the past five quarters.

However, FindWhat finished the quarter with 900 fewer advertiser accounts, ending with 24,500. This marks the first quarter the company’s advertiser base has declined in two years. FindWhat said most of the accounts lost were from small advertisers. The company bumped up its minimum bid in April to 5 cents.

Craig Pisaris-Henderson, FindWhat’s chief executive, said the decline was also due to FindWhat’s strategy of concentrating on agency sales and increasing the budgets of existing advertisers. He said the increased competition for keywords has priced out some small advertisers. The company’s average advertiser account rose about 14 percent in quarter to $715.

The company upped its guidance, in both revenues and earnings. For the full year, FindWhat now expects to take in $70 million, a $5 million increase from previous estimates. It anticipates earnings per share of 48 cents, up 2 cents.

Unlike Overture and Google, which have fought over the top portals, FindWhat has concentrated on second-and third-tier distribution sites, such as CNET’s, Excite and Dogpile.

FindWhat has garnered more attention in the aftermath of Yahoo!’s agreement to purchase Overture Services for $1.63 billion. Last month, FindWhat inked a merger agreement of its own to buy European paid listings company Espotting Media for $163 million.

The company said it was still unsure if Espotting’s contract with Yahoo! Europe would continue in the aftermath of the Overture merger. FindWhat has not assumed the relationship will continue in its financial forecasts.

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