InfoSpace Falls on Job Cuts

InfoSpace, Inc. (Nasdaq: INSP) was down 66 U.S. cents at $3.59 early Tuesday after the company said it laid off 250 of its 1,200 employees, as part of a plan to cut costs and concentrate on high-growth areas.

Bellevue, Washington-based InfoSpace, which provides merchant and consumer Internet infrastructure services, said it will focus on opportunities in the wireless, merchant and broadband sectors.

The company said that it would provide more details of its plan in the next three weeks, along with “revised financial guidance” for the rest of the year and a new outlook for next year.

InfoSpace shares traded as high as $138.50 in March, before sinking to what had been a 52-week low of $4.03 earlier this month.

“As part of the final integration of Go2Net and our renewed focus on our strongest growth areas, we have reexamined the business and its needs,” InfoSpace chief operating officer Ed Belsheim said.

InfoSpace acquired Go2Net Inc., a Web site operator, in a stock swap last year. InfoSpace said at the time that the acquisition would help the company capitalize on the convergence of media platforms like computers, televisions and wireless devices.

“The refocus of the company has led us to de-emphasize those parts of our business that are low growth and non-scalable, and align our resources and costs along the strong growth areas,” Belsheim said.

InfoSpace currently provides businesses and consumers with Internet services over personal computers, wireless phones and other devices, including kiosks, screen telephones and television set-top boxes.

The company has relationships with AT&T Wireless, Bloomberg LLC, Virgin Mobile, Verizon Wireless and National Discount Brokers, among others. Its affiliate network includes Web sites such as America Online and Microsoft.

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