Updated from 7:46 a.m. EDT

TheStreet.com ( TSCM) swung to a $1.6 million profit in its third quarter, helped by a 26% jump in advertising revenue, record subscription revenue and slightly lower costs.

The company, which publishes this Web site and provides online financial commentary, analysis and news, earned 6 cents a share in the quarter, compared with a loss of $1.2 million, or 5 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter included $229,000 of income from discontinued operations, while the year-ago period had a loss from since-discontinued operations of $1.7 million.

On a continuing-operations basis, TheStreet.com earned $1.4 million, or 5 cents a share, in the quarter compared with $400,000, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 6% from a year ago to $8.2 million. The company earned $1.7 million, or 7 cents a share, from continuing operations on sales of $7.8 million in the second quarter of 2005.

The stock rose 3 cents, or 0.7%, to $4.18 at midafternoon.

Third-quarter advertising revenue rose 26% from a year ago to $2.1 million, reflecting strong gains in traffic to the company's Web sites. TheStreet.com's network averaged 3.1 million unique users a month in the quarter, while page views totaled 130 million. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, unique users rose 32% from the same period a year ago, while page views rose 13%.

"Third-quarter advertising revenue increased sequentially from the second quarter for the first time since 1999," said Thomas J. Clarke Jr., the chief executive. "The total number of new advertisers in the third quarter alone surpassed the number of new advertisers in the first two quarters combined."

Subscription revenue totaled $5.8 million in the quarter, up 1% from a year ago and the highest for any quarter in the company's history. Subscription bookings were $6.1 million in the latest period, up 19% from a year ago but down 7% from the second quarter. Deferred revenue at the end of the quarter was $9.4 million, the highest total in company history. It rose 17% from a year ago and 3% from the second quarter.

"The increased traffic growth also benefited the company's subscription business, as evidenced by over 7,500 net new subscribers to our premium services in the quarter," Clarke said. "We expect both of these trends to continue in the fourth quarter."

Operating expenses fell 4% from a year ago to $7 million. The company produced cash flow of $1.4 million, up from $100,000 a year ago, while cash and restricted stock totaled $31 million at the end of the quarter, unchanged from last year.

On a conference call with analysts, Clarke noted the recent success of the company's cofounder, James Cramer, whose new talk show on CNBC, Mad Money, has broadened TheStreet.com's exposure at no cost to the company. Clarke also said Cramer is in late-stage discussions with TheStreet.com about a three-year contract extension to continue providing the company with online content.

"Cramer isn't going anywhere," Clarke said. "He is satisfied with his end of this relationship, and we are satisfied with ours."

Asked about TheStreet.com's ongoing work with consultant Allen & Co. to explore a sale of the company or potential acquisitions, Clarke said the process is ongoing.

"We haven't discontinued the process," he said. "We're exploring a host of opportunities that may or may not be available to us."

He also said the recent closing of the company's independent stock research arm, Independent Research Group, gave potential suitors a clearer view of the company's value.

Clarke said the company was still exploring ways to return money to shareholders.

"At some point we may even pay a dividend to shareholders because we are sitting on a lot of cash," he said.