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Perion Network 1Q results surge on acquisition

NEW YORK (AP) -- Perion Network Ltd., which offers instant messaging, photo sharing and other online services, said Monday that its net income grew more than sevenfold in the first quarter, bolstered by an acquisition.

Its quarterly results beat analysts' estimates, and the stock hit a new all-time high.

The Israeli company earned $2.9 million, or 22 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. A year earlier Perion earned $370,000, or 4 cents per share.

Excluding operating income adjustments, tax adjustments and other items, earnings were 45 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 35 cents per share, on average.

Revenue more than doubled to $27.6 million from $10.7 million as search-generated revenue more than tripled mostly because of the SweetPacks acquisition. Wall Street was looking for $23.6 million in revenue.

Shares of Perion climbed $1.49, or 11.8 percent, to $14.09 in midday trading Monday. Earlier in the session, the stock reached a fresh all-time high of $14.94.

Perion purchased SweetIM, which is known as SweetPacks, in November. The company made an initial payment of $10 million in cash and 1.99 million of its stock. A payment of $7.5 million is due 12 months after closing, and another payment of $7.5 million is due 18 months after closing if certain targets are met. The deal was expected to close that same month.

SweetPacks is an Israeli-based online company that offers consumers free apps and downloadable content.

Perion said that it anticipates meeting and likely beating its full-year forecast for adjusted earnings of $1.61 per share on revenue of $110 million.

Analysts predict 2013 earnings of $1.62 per share on revenue of $111.6 million.