InfoSpace has had more lives than a cat. But the Bellevue Internet search company appears to be reinventing itself pretty well. The company today posted net income of $2.1 million, or six cents per share, on relatively flat revenue of $61.6 million. It also elevated interim CEO Bill Ruckelshaus to the top executive post at the company.

The first quarter results beat Wall Street’s expectations, and as a result shares jumped more than 17 percent in after hours trading.

One thing that will be interesting to watch with InfoSpace, which recently added former AT&T and McCaw Cellular exec Steve Hooper to the board, is what it will do with its war chest of cash. The company has no debt obligations, and is current sitting on $249 million in cash and cash equivalents.

A buying spree perhaps?

The company has certainly alluded to that in the past, and with Ruckelshaus now trying to make his mark as CEO it’s certainly a possibility.

In fact, in today’s press release Ruckelshaus said that the company is now “firmly focused on strategic opportunities to leverage our cash position and significant tax asset to increase shareholder value.”

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  • GlennKelman

    What’s the tax asset John? Bill is going to be a great CEO.

    • johnhcook

      You know, I read that and wondered the same thing. I’ll ask them.

      • johnhcook

        Here’s the response from InfoSpace on the tax question:

        “InfoSpace has approximately $788 million of federal NOLs (net operating loss carry-forwards) that don’t begin to expire until the year 2020, and are available to use at some level through 2027. To the extent we have future taxable income, they can be used to eliminate future ordinary tax on our income. So, our cash position of $249.8 million on our balance sheet, coupled with our tax asset, strongly biases us to invest to acquire attractive, profitable assets and companies at reasonable prices. More than any other use of our capital, we believe this strategy – properly executed – can generate superior returns for our shareholders.”

        Hope that helps explain things.

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