InfoSpace (INSP)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 15, 2012 5:00 pm ET


Stacy Ybarra - Director of Corporate Communications

William J. Ruckelshaus - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Eric M. Emans - Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer


Clayton F. Moran - The Benchmark Company, LLC, Research Division

Kartik Mehta - Northcoast Research

Michael Millman - Millman Research Associates

Ryan Bergan - Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Richard Tullo - Albert Fried & Company, LLC, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2011 InfoSpace Earnings Conference Call. My name is Amisia, and I will be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions] I will now like to turn the call over to Ms. Stacy Ybarra. Please proceed.

Stacy Ybarra

Good afternoon, and welcome to InfoSpace's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Earnings Conference Call. On the call today are Bill Ruckelshaus, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Eric Emans, Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that during the course of this call, InfoSpace representatives will make forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding InfoSpace's expectations, about its products and services, outlook for the future of our business and growth initiative, acquisition strategy and anticipated financial performance for the first quarter 2012. Other statements that refer to our beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions, which may be made in response to questions, are also forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Because these statements pertain to future events, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations and beliefs.

Factors that cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the risks and other factors discussed in Infospace most recent quarterly form on Form 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Infospace assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date the statement is made. In addition, during this call, our management will discuss GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures. In the press release, which has been posted on our website and filed with the SEC on Form 8-K, we present GAAP and non-GAAP results along with reconciliation tables and the reasons for our presentation of non-GAAP information.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Bill Ruckelshaus. Following his comments, Eric Emans will review the fourth quarter results and first quarter outlook, then we'll open up the call to your questions.

William J. Ruckelshaus

Thank you, Stacy, and good afternoon. We are pleased to provide an update on our performance for the fourth quarter and full year 2011. InfoSpace has progressed considerably in the period since January of last year on a variety of fronts. Today, we will briefly discuss our performance last year and provide some thoughts about why we are excited for the future. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $66.6 million, up 34% from the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA was strong at $10.2 million, up 23% year-on-year. Our fourth quarter capped a good year of top line growth and profitability for InfoSpace.

The distribution side of our search business continues to be a big driver for us. Last period marked the third consecutive quarter of accelerating revenue growth with our distribution partners. In the fourth quarter, distribution revenue increased 69% year-on-year, aided significantly by revenue from partners signed in 2011. We see the market opportunity for distributed search expanding, and we believe InfoSpace is well positioned to continue to tap this growth.

I want to spend some time describing this marketplace a bit further. Users are continuing to evolve in how they consume digital content through applications and utility-based tools on the desktop, on social platforms and increasingly through mobile devices and tablets. This evolution is driving significant downstream innovation in the publisher community. Barriers to entry are coming down dramatically for providers of content and applications. No longer is it a question of funding or scale, ideas and imagination win a day. Search is playing an important role in this trend, allowing the growing provider community to monetize effectively and adding functionality to their consumer offerings.

InfoSpace is serving this market through its distributed search offering. We partner with publishers to help them monetize and share in the gains when they do. We differentiate through our years of in-market experience, service levels and flexibility. Distributed search is a sustained growth story for us. In the period from 2008 to 2011, revenue from our distribution business has grown at a compound annual rate of 22%. The market is accelerating and we are participating fully in the momentum.

Supporting our search business, we have longstanding relationships with Google and Yahoo!. In the first quarter of 2011, we renewed our agreements with both parties to continue to distribute their result sets through our network and partner websites through 2013. These partnerships represent a cornerstone of our search business, and we are pleased to extend our relationships with both parties on favorable terms.

Moving now to 2012 and beyond, we are optimistic going forward about our prospects in search and are now thrilled to welcome TaxACT to the company's story. Last month, we announced and ultimately closed our acquisition of TaxACT. This was a significant milestone for our company and the result of an announced strategy and dedicated process to allocate our capital to acquire a new business outside of search. In TaxACT, we have found an outstanding business run by a terrific team with an excellent track record of execution and financial performance.

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