WebMD’s Profit Increases on Stronger Advertising Sales

WebMD Health Corp., owner of the consumer health-information website, raised its 2013 forecast and said third-quarter profit rose on strength in its core advertising and sponsorship business.

Net income rose to $3.2 million, or 6 cents a share, from a loss of $900,000, or 2 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The profit includes a $2 million after-tax loss, at 4 cents a share, for the repurchase of $100 million on its 2.25 percent convertible notes due 2016. A profit of 9 cents a share was the average of four analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company forecast earnings in excess of $12 million for 2013, up from a range of $3 million to $11 million estimated in July. WebMD also announced the acquisition of Avado Inc., which develops patient relationship management tools, to help connect doctors and patients using the company’s digital technology.

“We believe we are uniquely positioned to connect our physician and consumer audiences,” said Chief Executive Officer David Schlanger in a telephone interview. “It’s really creating a partnership based on improving health, and not just when the patient is physically in front of the physician.”

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

WebMD rose 3.7 percent to $36.84 at the close of New York trading before the earnings results were announced. The shares have more than doubled so far this year.

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