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Ancestry.com, A Year After Its IPO

Posted on Thursday, Mar 17th 2011

Founded in 1983 as a publishing house, Ancestry.com (NASDAQ:ACOM) has become the world’s largest online community of people interested in their family histories. Over the past three years, the site’s more than 1.4 million registered users have created 22 million family trees with over 2 billion profiles and 52 million photographs, scanned documents, and written stories and have access to a growing pool of 6 billion historical records.

Ancestry.com’s Financials
Ancestry.com’s revenues for the fourth quarter grew 37.6% over the year to $82.7 million. For the full year, revenues grew 33.8% over the year to $300.9 million. The company ended last year with 1.4 million subscribers, recording growth of 31% over the previous year. EPS of $0.25 grew 25% over the previous year and was in line with market expectations. For the year, EPS of $0.76 grew 49% over previous year’s $0.51.

The company has projected current quarter revenues to be in the range of $86 million–$88 million compared with market estimates of $81 million. Revenues for the full year are projected at $370 million–$375 million and were above the Street’s expected revenues of $357 million. The company expects to end the current year with 1.7 million to 1.73 million subscribers.

Ancestry.com’s Acquisitions
As part of its international expansion, last year Ancestry.com acquired Genline, owner and operator of the Swedish family history website, Genline.se, for $7.2 million. The Genline acquisition helped to expand its presence in the Swedish market and provide existing customers access to Swedish records.

To strengthen their research team, Ancestry.com acquired ProGenealogists, a professional genealogy research firm that specializes in genealogical, forensic, and family history research, for $1.1 million. The acquisition is expected to improve the company’s genealogy research team by giving them and their customers access to more expert genealogists.

Earlier last quarter, Ancestry.com acquired iArchives for $27 million. iArchives was the operator of a digitization service, and history site Footnote.com, for $27 million. Ancestry.com hopes to expand its reach with researchers through the acquisition by helping them access iArchives’ 65 million digitized images of American historical records.

Ancestry.com’s Marketing Efforts
To attract more subscribers, the company recently partnered with NBC for the second season of the Who Do You Think You Are?, a television series that traces the ancestral history of celebrities. The show has been airing since March of last year and had more than 3.75 million viewers last week. The company is also looking to expand its Facebook presence this year to add to the subscriber base.

Ancestry.com’s Mobile Expansion
To cater to the tablet and the smartphone market, the company recently released a new iPad app that is available free at the iTunes App Store. The app lets consumers share and update family trees, old photos, and records. Ancestry.com is also working on an Android-based app.

The stock is trading at $31.31 with a market capitalization of $1.4 billion. It touched $38.69 last month – its highest price since the company went public in November 2009.

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