NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Bankrate (RATE) are plummeting 45.66% to $6.89 on heavy volume in early afternoon trading on Thursday, after the company reported its 2015 fourth quarter results.

After yesterday's market close, the New York-based personal finance information provider posted revenue of $93.4 million, missing Wall Street's projections of $134 million.

Lower advertising revenue and competition from Alphabet's Google (GOOGL) impacted its results.

For the first quarter, Bankrate expects revenue of $80 million, while analysts are looking for revenue of $98.14 million for the period.

The company did not provide guidance for the full year citing a lack of visibility due to Google product changes.

Additionally, RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock to "sector perform" from "outperform" this morning and cut its price target to $9 from $16.

"RATE called out a couple of Google policy/product changes that led to soft traffic trends: 1) Google experimenting with their 'Credit Card Compare' offering, which led to intermittent disruption inorganic traffic; and, 2) Google's recently announced plans to discontinue 'right rail' text ads on search results pages, which has amplified the uncertainty around RATE's traffic acquisition unit economics," the firm said in an analyst note.

About 4.06 million of Bankrate's shares were traded by this afternoon, well above its average volume of 745,930 shares per day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C on the stock.

TheStreet Recommends

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance.

As a counter to these strengths, the team finds that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: RATE

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