Despite reporting strong results for the first quarter yesterday, InfoSpace's stock sank nearly 20 percent in after-hours trading over concerns...

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Despite reporting strong results for the first quarter yesterday, InfoSpace’s stock sank nearly 20 percent in after-hours trading over concerns business in the second quarter would be seasonally slow.


The Bellevue-based company, which provides Internet search and directory services and content to mobile phones, said yesterday it had a profit of $93.9 million, or $2.52 a share, in the quarter. The results included a one-time gain of $77.3 million from a suit it won against its founder Naveen Jain.


Excluding that gain, the company’s income from continuing operations totaled $16.6 million, or 45 cents a share, beating analyst expectations of 38 cents. That compared with $5.4 million, or 15 cents a share, in the first quarter a year ago. Sales for the quarter nearly doubled to $87 million from $48.1 million in the period a year ago.


Even with those numbers, analysts in a conference call yesterday were focused on looking ahead rather than applauding the company’s achievements. The stock dropped $8.97 in after-hours trading to $36.02.


InfoSpace said it expects revenue to decrease to as low as $83 million in the second quarter, with profit as low as $13.5 million, or 36 cents a share.


Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Voelker said the drop is expected as both Internet searches and mobile-phone purchases by customers wane after end-of-the-year holiday gains. Voelker said one of the biggest drivers of business is new handset sales as consumers buy phones with more capabilities.


But analysts asked repeatedly about the expected slowdown, concerned it was a broader sign that sales were tapering off after months and quarters of mobile and search growth.


“Clearly the analysts were looking for a more linear path to the end-of-the-year numbers, rather than factoring in the normal seasonality that we expect to see,” Voelker said. “We didn’t change our guidance at all.”


He also pointed to the growth InfoSpace’s businesses had seen in the quarter. The company’s search and directory revenues grew 44 percent to $48 million from a year ago. Mobile revenues increased 163 percent to $39.1 million.


“We had a great quarter. Around this building we are feeling pretty good,” Voelker said.


Tricia Duryee: 206-464-3283 or tduryee@seattletimes.com



































InfoSpace results
Figures in parentheses are losses.
March 31 %
1st QTR 2005 2004 CHG
Profit $93,899,000 $36,683,000 156
Per share 2.52 1.03 144.7
Sales 87,022,000 48,081,000 81