Wedbush Morgan Ups InfoSpace to 'Buy'

Analyst Scott Sutherland cites the Internet software maker's accelerating earnings growth and a seasonally strong fourth quarter

Wedbush Morgan upgraded InfoSpace (INSP ) to buy from hold.

Analyst Scott Sutherland says the Internet software maker's earnings and revenues beat his estimates. He remains impressed with InfoSpace's solid balance sheet management, and its ability to wring profits out of business and control costs. Sutherland says the company's long-term future appears in motion, with a focus on Search & Directory and Mobiles Services. While there's execution risk with recent merger and acquisitions activity, Sutherland upgraded on accelerating earnings per share growth and a seasonally strong fourth quarter. He notes the company sees fourth-quarter earnings per share equivalent to the third quarter (before items).

Sutherland narrowed the 48 cents 2003 GAAP loss estimate to a 38 cents loss, and upped the 30 cents 2004 GAAP earnings per share to 63 cents earnings per share. He set a $30 target.

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