Why Bankrate, Inc. Stock Plunged Today

By Steve SymingtonFool.com

What:Shares of Bankrate were down 17.8% as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday after the financial services website reported decent fiscal-first-quarter results, but followed with disappointing guidance for the full year. Bankrate also reduced adjusted earnings results for several prior years following an internal company review.

So what: First-quarter revenue climbed 4% year over year to $141.5 million, which translated to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $40.4 million. Adjusted net income came in at $20.2 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, up slightly from $0.18 per share in the year-ago period. Analysts, on average, were anticipating adjusted earnings of $0.19 per share, but on lower revenue of $138 million.

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For the full year 2015, Bankrate now expects revenue of $520 million to $530 million, and adjusted EBTIDA between $145 million and $150 million. Wall Street's models called for revenue and earnings of $612.4 million and $0.81 per share, respectively.

Finally, in a separate release, Bankrate announced the results of a previously disclosed internal review of its years 2011, 2012, and 2013. Specifically, its audit committee concluded accounting for "certain historical business activities had been recorded in a manner that was not consistent with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States." In aggregate over the restated periods, the misstatements resulted in a reduction to adjusted EBITDA of $5.2 million.

Now what: That's a relatively small amount considering Bankrate's total adjusted EBITDA over the same period came in at $448.4 million. But keeping in mind the market is a forward-looking machine, this certainly doesn't help calm the nerves of investors as they process Bankrate's light guidance. As a result, and given the risk of further downside pressure as analysts digest that guidance in the near term, I'm content watching Bankrate from the sidelines until the dust settles.

The article Why Bankrate, Inc. Stock Plunged Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Steve Symington owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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