Updated from Oct. 28
Just three weeks after it suffered a devastating blow, Internet search engine
struck back Tuesday by rolling out an improved, if unexplained, profit outlook.
The company's shares surged 36% Wednesday following that news and LookSmart's third-quarter earnings report, posted Tuesday evening.
For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, the San Francisco company posted net income of $1.9 million, or 2 cents a share, reversing the year-ago loss of $469,000, or less than a penny a share. Revenue rose 70% from a year ago to $40 million. The results were slightly ahead of Wall Street's consensus estimate, which called for earnings of a penny a share on revenue of $39 million.
The company also boosted 2003 earnings guidance, forecasting that profits excluding restructuring charges would rise to $8 million to $9 million from the previous range of $4 million to $5 million. LookSmart also said fourth-quarter revenue would come in at $38 million to $39 million, which is below the $42 million Wall Street estimate.
The company didn't explain the rise in its so-called adjusted net income forecast, but it attributed the coming revenue shortfall to the pending departure of
from LookSmart's partnership stable. In early October, Microsoft
sent LookSmart plunging 58% in a single day by saying it wouldn't renew their relationship.
LookSmart shares, which traded north of $3 earlier this month, added 51 cents Wednesday to $1.91.