WebMD reports higher ad revenues, site traffic

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Higher ad revenues and traffic to WebMD's physician and consumer web portals boosted second-quarter earnings, the healthcare information firm said.

Ad revenue jumped 32% during the April-June period, vs. the same period last year, to $100.6 million from $76 million. Traffic to the WebMD Health Network reached an average of 80.7 million unique users per month and total traffic of 1.8 billion page views during the quarter, increases of 35% and 22%, respectively, from a year ago. On the WebMD Professional Network, 1.5 million CME programs were completed.

That helped the firm swing to a second-quarter profit with earnings of $7.68 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a loss of $11.7 million, or 25 cents, in the year-earlier quarter.

WebMD does not break down physician and consumer ad revenues, but a source told MM&M that revenue contributions from the two are roughly equal. Physician portal ad sales are derived almost exclusively from the pharmaceutical industry, the source said, while consumer portal sales come mostly from pharma with a growing portion from consumer packaged goods companies.
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