Rediff.com ( REDF) shares skyrocketed on Thursday after the Indian Internet company reported a surge in first-quarter profit. Rediff stock plowed up 16% to $14.56, tacking on an additional $2.01 to its price. Net income for the quarter totaled $2 million, or about 7 cents an ADS, rising from a profit of $53,000, which was about breakeven share-wise, a year ago. Sales came in at $5.8 million, growing 37% from $4.2 million in the same quarter last year. Gross margin rose to 78% from 69% in the year-ago quarter. The company said a boom in online advertising helped boost revenue for the quarter. Ad revenue from its India Online business alone grew 68% compared to the first quarter 2005. Rediff also said it was helped by a trend in sales of lower-priced PCs and a decrease in broadband prices from one of India's largest telecom firms. "As the Indian Internet market grows, we will continue to focus on product innovation based on our users' requirements, as part of our core strategy," Ajit Balakrishnan, CEO of Rediff said in a statement. "The other key area of focus is in developing platforms and user-friendly tools to grow our base of smaller advertisers to include employment recruiters, travel agents and small-business owners to optimize the Internet to reach potential customers across the country."