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InfoSpace

InfoSpace stock soared 17 percent in extended trading Tuesday after its third-quarter earnings easily beat analysts’ expectations.

The company, which provides online search and directory services and develops mobile content, earned $11.2 million, or 32 cents a share, down 15.7 percent from $13.4 million, or 37 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue climbed 23.9 percent to $83.2 million.

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Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected the Bellevue company to earn 18 cents a share. The results, released after the close of the regular stock session, pushed InfoSpace stock up $3.77 to $26 in after-hours trading.

The company said Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Voelker, who underwent coronary-bypass surgery earlier this month, continues to recover at home. He is expected to return to work in November.

HouseValues

New Yakima office projects staff of 350

HouseValues.com announced Tuesday it will develop a branch office in Yakima that eventually will house 350 employees. The 6-year-old Internet-based real-estate company matches homebuyers and sellers with real-estate professionals.

HouseValues has more than 500 employees at its Kirkland headquarters. The Yakima office is being added to support the company’s growth plans.

The office is expected to open in January. More than 100 hires, mostly in management and sales, are expected to be made in the next two quarters.

National Securities

Parent company ends merger plans

Olympic Cascade Financial, parent of Seattle-based stock brokerage National Securities, said it has dropped plans to merge with First Montauk Financial.

First Montauk Financial is the parent of First Montauk Securities, a brokerage based in Red Bank, N.J.

The proposed merger, announced in June, had been a way for the two companies to shore up their finances.

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Adobe Systems

“High end” forecast for 4th-quarter seen

Adobe Systems, the world’s biggest maker of graphic-design software, said fourth-quarter sales and profit will be at the “high end” of its forecasts on demand for its Photoshop and Illustrator programs.

Last month the company forecast profit of 27 cents to 29 cents a share on sales of $490 million to $510 million in the period ending Dec. 2, and Tuesday in a statement predicted the higher end of that range.

Adobe is benefiting from sales of Creative Suite 2, a package that includes Photoshop and Illustrator, and the Acrobat document-exchange program. The company is looking to expand sales with its takeover of Macromedia. The U.S. Justice Department approved the $3.4 billion purchase this month, and the companies are now waiting for approval from European regulators.

Adobe Chief Executive Bruce Chizen is counting on Macromedia to spur sales and fend off competition from Microsoft, which last month announced new digital design and publishing programs.

“Business is strong and the market is liking it,” said David Edwards, an analyst with American Technology Research in San Francisco who rates the shares “buy” and said he doesn’t own them.

Adobe shares rose 19 cents to $32.18 in extended trading after the announcement. They fell 36 cents to $31.99 in the regular session.

eBay

Shares decline over Google report

Shares of eBay fell as much as 5.6 percent on concern Google may soon introduce a new feature that allows users to sell products online.

Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck said Tuesday in a note that Google has been testing a Web site that looked like an online marketplace, similar to that of eBay. Peck cited screen shots of a product called Google Base that were posted on a Web log.

Google spokespeople Steve Langdon and Lynn Fox didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. eBay doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, spokesman Hani Durzy said in an e-mail.

eBay shares fell $1.41 to $38.01 Tuesday.

Intel

Quality issues delay Itanium processor

Intel delayed the release of its Itanium processor because of quality problems, the first postponement since five products were held up or canceled in 2004.

The chip, referred to by the company as Montecito, was scheduled for introduction in “early 2006” and will now go into production in “mid 2006,” said Scott McLaughlin, an Intel spokesman.

“We need a little more time,” he said. The delay is “quality related,” he said, declining to give more details. Two other future versions of the chip will also be delayed.

The delay is the latest problem for the Itanium chip, which never lived up to Intel’s expectation that it would replace the mainstay Pentium personal computer chip. Intel scaled back its ambitions for the chip and now markets Itanium as a competitor for IBM’s Power processor in the $20 billion market for chips in machines that run corporate databases.

Cablevision

Family won’t take company private

The family that controls Cablevision Systems has abandoned a bid to take the company private in the latest twist of a yearlong saga of turmoil at the New York-area cable TV provider.

After months of feuding between the father-and-son team that runs Cablevision, the Dolan family had offered in June to buy out Cablevision’s public shareholders in a transaction that would have formed two separate companies, a privately held cable-TV-system business to be run by Cablevision’s Chairman Charles Dolan, and a publicly traded cable-network company to be run by his son James, the CEO.

But after four months of negotiations, the family was unable to reach agreement with a special committee of the company’s board over terms for the transaction, the Dolans said in a letter to Cablevision’s directors.

Compiled from Bloomberg News

Airbus wins OK for Alabama plant

Airbus won approval from Alabama state officials to build an engineering center in Mobile in anticipation of winning an Air Force tanker contract in a bidding competition with Boeing.

The center, to open in January 2007, will have at least 150 engineers initially assigned to design the interior of the new A350 jet, Airbus said Tuesday.

The facility is a precursor to a “potentially larger-scale” site that would be built if Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence & Space and Northrop Grumman win the contract for midair-refueling tankers.

Separately Tuesday, Air New Zealand doubled its order for Boeing 787-8 jetliners to four.

Boeing has guaranteed firm delivery slots for the two additional aircraft, the Auckland-based airline said.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and Bloomberg News