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Investment Guru Ron Baron and Company Insiders Selling Bankrate Inc. Stocks

September 14, 2009 | About:
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guruek

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(GuruFocus, September 14, 2009 ) Investment Guru Ron Baron sold almost all of his shares in internet lending company Bankrate Inc. (RATE) . GuruFocus Real Time Data shows that Baron sold 99.9% of his holding of 1.44 million share in RATE on September 10, 2009 at the price around $28.45. He still holds a negligible 1,500 shares after the sale.

Bankrate Inc. owns and operates Bankrate.com the Internet's leading consumer banking marketplace with an average of 4 million unique visitors per month connecting with over 4500 financial institutions in 173 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels including banking investing taxes and small business finance. Bankrate Inc has a market cap of $537.87 million; its shares were traded at around $28.48 with a P/E ratio of 32 and P/S ratio of 3.22. Bankrate Inc had an annual average earning growth of 28% over the past 5 years.

On July 30, 2009, the company announced results for the quarter ended on June 30, 2009. Total revenue for the second quarter was $31.0 million compared to $40.2 million reported in the second quarter of 2008, a decrease of 23%. Net income was $1.9 million or $0.10 per fully diluted share in the second quarter of 2009, compared to $4.1 million, or $0.21 per fully diluted share in the second quarter of 2008. Earnings per fully diluted share, excluding share-based compensation expense ("Adjusted EPS"), was $0.19 for the second quarter of 2009, compared to Adjusted EPS of $0.33 for the second quarter of 2008.

Baron entered a small position of 215,000 shares back in 3Q07 when the stock price ended at $46.12 per share. He increased to a peak of 1.82 million shares in the next quarter, but has been seen selling slowly since then. At the end of 2Q09, he still held 1.44 million shares. Baron is joined by a several company insiders in selling the stock. Recently,Director Richard J Pinola sold 5,000 shares of RATE stock on 08/25/2009 at the average price of $28.5; Director William C Martin sold 30,850 shares of RATE stock on 08/25/2009 at the average price of $28.5; and Director Randall E Poliner sold 345,456 shares of RATE stock on 08/25/2009 at the average price of $28.5;

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