FindWhat.com ( FWHT) affirmed second-quarter guidance Thursday as it closed its merger with European paid listings provider Espotting Media.

FindWhat, a Fort Myers, Fla., pay-per-click search engine operator, said it expects second-quarter results will be "in line with, or slightly ahead of, the projections provided on April 26." Back then, FindWhat projected revenue of $27 million, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $7.2 million and adjusted pretax income of 27 cents a share.

FindWhat said Espotting generated $27 million-$28 million of revenue in the calendar second quarter. Excluding certain items, EBITDA was $1.5 million-$2 million.

The company also offered third- and fourth-quarter guidance that was toward the low end of Wall Street estimates. The company forecast third-quarter revenue of $55 million-$60 million and 2004 revenue of $167 million-$179 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had projected third-quarter revenue of $58 million and annual revenue of $175 million.

"Given the growth, expansion and synergy opportunities we have identified, we may accelerate investment spending in pursuit of these opportunities during Q3 and Q4 2004, which we believe will help us capitalize on the attractive opportunities we have identified," operating chief Phil Thune said. "We continue to believe that we can reach consolidated EBITDA margins of at least 20% in the second half of 2005, and we believe these investments may help us reach that goal even earlier."

FindWhat.com also named Thune to an added post of president, and tapped Brenda Agius to replace him as chief financial officer.

FindWhat shares have performed decently over the last year, but the company has been largely overlooked amid a revival in Net search engine stocks. The rally has been apparent in the high-octane performance of rivals ranging from Yahoo! ( YHOO) to Ask Jeeves ( ASKJ) and Mamma.com ( MAMA).

Early Thursday, FindWhat shares slipped 36 cents to $22.78.

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