Articles of the Day


comScore Revs Up 34 Percent; Net Income Soars — Shares of internet measurement firm comScore are spiking hours after the company reported another very healthy quarter. Excluding the impact of the M:Metrics acquisition, revenue was up 34 percent to $27.8 million and adjusted income more than doubled to $2.57 million. Including M:Metrics, revenue was up 38 percent and EPS would have been $.06 per share. Meanwhile the company is still winning customers, netting 64 in the quarter, bringing its total to 1,013. International revenue is still small at $4.1 million, but it grew at a 75 percent clip, and accounts for for 14 percent of the total. With M:Metrics factored in, the company is calling for revenue of $119-$120 million, a few million ahead of current estimates.

IAC/InterActiveCorp to make multiple buys under USD 100m — IAC/InterActiveCorp., the New York-listed internet company, plans to engage in multiple buys, reported the Wall Street Journal. The report, part of a story looking at the company’s second quarter results, cited IAC chief executive Barry Diller as saying the company plans to use USD 1.3bn in dividend payments from its spin-off to make multiple buys. According to the report, Diller said the deals will each be under USD 100m and if it can’t find good targets it will return cash to shareholders. Source: Wall Street Journal

Dubai Group, Blackstone Eye Informa — The Blackstone Group has teamed up with Investment Corp. Dubai to bid on UK media group Informa PLC (LSE: INF), according to The Financial Times. Earlier reports had an alternate consortium of Carlyle Group, Providence Equity Partners and Hellman & Friedman, but today’s FT story says that Hellman & Friedman has walked away.

Cobalt Rolls Out Search Tools — Cobalt has developed a new set of paid search marketing tools under its PowerSearch automotive advertising platform. The tools, which are based on search traffic research and ongoing auto industry trends, offer clients new keywords and bidding strategies to capitalize on consumer interest in parts and services, as well as financing. The ads can run across Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Interpublic Makes HUGE Bet On Digital Marketing — Taking a majority stake in online agency HUGE, Interpublic Group has bolstered its digital marketing capabilities. The deal gives Interpublic an interactive shop that specializes in building sophisticated, transactional Web sites for clients such as JetBlue, IKEA, Scholastic and Time Warner Music Group. Its clients’ sites together generate $3.5 billion in annual revenue and draw more than 120 million visitors a month.

IAC: Search Ads Hold Up, While Display ‘Spotty’; Looking At All Deals, But Will Be Selective — For its last call as a single company, all five CEOs and their CFOs are on IAC’s conference call. Kicking off the call, Diller noted that it’s not even worth talking about Old IAC anymore, in part because it’s almost gone, but really because “It’s just too much complexity and information.” That statement speaks as much to the company’s conference calls and earnings releases as it does to the whole notion of Old IAC: ‘just too much complexity’. Hence the breakup. Right now the company doesn’t have precise timing on the split, except that it will be “very soon”. Diller said he hoped to talk about all five companies on the call, and that he didn’t want New IAC to hog the time, but almost every question was on New IAC (NSDQ: IACI). At a couple of points, Diller, from the position as a shareholder in each company, took the job himself to ask questions of the other CEOs.

Amazon Launches Online Payment Services — In a move to rival eBay’s PayPal and Google’s Google Checkout, Amazon launched on Tuesday two online payment services, Checkout and Simple Pay. The difference in the two is that Checkout provides capabilities to support real time shipping, tax calculation, promotions and other tasks like cancellations and shipment tracking, while Simple Pay enables customers to use payment information already on file.

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