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For immediate release

Bankrate's First Quarter Net Income Surges to $2 Million or $0.13 Per Share on a 52% Revenue Increase to $8.5 Million;
Company Has First 2 Million Page View Day

NEW YORK, April 30, 2003 -- Bankrate, Inc. (RATE), the Internet's leading consumer banking marketplace, today reported an increase in net income to a record $2.0 million, or $0.13 per share on a diluted basis, for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, from $690,000, or $0.05 per share on a diluted basis, excluding the non-cash gain on early extinguishment of debt of $2.0 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2002. (Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2002 was $2.7 million or $0.19 per share on a diluted basis). These results reflect Bankrate's sixth consecutive profitable quarter as a result of increased advertiser demand and traffic patterns. Total revenue for the first quarter rose 52% to a record $8.5 million from $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2002.

Commenting on Bankrate's first quarter performance, President and CEO Elisabeth DeMarse said, "We are very pleased with across the board growth for what is traditionally our strongest quarter of the year. Our results exceeded the exceptionally robust results in the third and fourth quarters in 2002. In fact, our net income in the first quarter was 24% above the previous all time record of $1.6 million, or $0.11 per share on a diluted basis, in the third quarter last year. These results reflect Bankrate's ability to generate strong top and bottom line growth on a stable fixed expense base."

For the eighth consecutive quarter, the Company generated cash from operations. Cash increased $1.8 million from $11.0 million at December 31, 2002 to $12.8 million at March 31, 2003, and Bankrate remains virtually debt-free. "Our strong balance sheet and cash flow represent a solid base for future growth, enabling us to extend our product lines either through internal expansion or by acquisition," explained Bob DeFranco, Senior Vice President-Chief Financial Officer.

First Quarter Highlights

Bankrate continued to experience unprecedented strength in revenue in all categories, resulting in higher year-over-year and consecutive quarter revenue for the three-month period:

  • Total revenue of $8.5 million was $2.9 million, or 52% higher, than the first quarter a year earlier, and was $1.1 million, or 14%, higher than the fourth quarter of 2002.

  • Online publishing revenue of $7.3 million was up $2.6 million, or 56%, over the 2002 first quarter, and was $930,000, or 14%, higher than the fourth quarter of 2002.

  • Graphic ad revenue was up $1.7 million, or 80%, over the first quarter of 2002, and was 12% higher than the fourth quarter of 2002.

  • Hyperlink (rate table listings) revenue increased $1.1 million, or 63%, over the same quarter of 2002, and was 12% higher than the fourth quarter of 2002.

  • Print publishing and licensing revenue of $1.2 million was up $288,000, or 31%, over the 2002 first quarter and was 12% above the $1.1 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2002.

  • Excluding barter, other operating expenses as a percentage of total revenue declined from 53% for the three months ended March 31, 2002 to 46% for the current quarter, while total expenses as a percentage of total revenue dropped from 85% in the first quarter of 2002 to 75% in the same quarter in 2003.

  • Page views for the first quarter of 2003 of 107 million were up 83% over the 58 million reported in the same quarter in 2002, and were 27 million, or 35%, higher than page views in the fourth quarter of 2002.

  • On January 9, 2003 the Company's stock began trading on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market under its existing stock symbol RATE.

Online publishing revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2003 and 2002 included barter revenue of $750,000 and $855,000, representing 9% and 15% of total revenue, respectively.

"Consumer demand for our objective rate information and personal financial advice continued to build despite war jitters. Our first two million page view day came on the heels of initiatives taken in March. These initiatives include making Bankrate data available to subscribers of The Wall Street Journal Online, the Associated Press Radio Network's launch of's `The Personal Finance Minute,' and the release of our Financial Literacy benchmark survey conducted by RoperASW. Working with leading partners has helped us to continue to build recognition of the Bankrate brand as the gold standard for consumers seeking objective data and education for their most important banking needs," Ms. DeMarse concluded.

April 30, 2003 Conference Call & Replay Information

The Company has scheduled a teleconference on its first quarter results today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time). To participate in the teleconference please call 1-877-261-8992 10 minutes prior to the start time.

A replay of the teleconference will be available through May 21 by calling 1-888-843-8996 (domestic) or 1-630-652-3044 (international) and entering the pass code 7024773#.

About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate, Inc. (RATE) owns and operates, the Internet's leading consumer banking marketplace. averages 4 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore Media Metrix, which ranks first in unique visitors in the "Financial information and advice" category. reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in more than 180 markets in 50 states. is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes and small business finance. It is the leading aggregator of more than 190 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 80 partners, including Yahoo! (YHOO), America Online (AOL), The Wall Street Journal (DJ) and The New York Times (NYT).'s information is also distributed through more than 100 national and state publications.

Certain matters discussed in this press release are or may be considered to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and members of our management team. Such forward-looking statements include without limitation statements made with respect to future revenue, revenue growth, market acceptance of our products, and profitability. Investors and prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors currently known to management that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include the following: we have a history of losses; we use barter transactions that do not generate cash; our success depends on Internet advertising revenue, interest rate volatility, establishing and maintaining distribution arrangements, and increasing brand awareness of our Web site; our markets are highly competitive; our Web site may encounter technical problems and service interruptions; we rely on the protection of our intellectual property; we may face liability for information on our Web site; future government regulation of the Internet is uncertain and subject to change; our ownership is heavily concentrated; our success may depend on management and key employees; we may encounter difficulties with future acquisitions; our results of operation may fluctuate significantly; and our stock price may be volatile in the future. These and additional important factors to be considered are set forth under "Item 1. Business - Risk Factors," "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and in the other sections of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002, and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results or expectations.

Financial statements

SOURCE: Bankrate, Inc.

Bankrate, Inc., North Palm Beach, Fla.
Robert J. DeFranco, 561/630-1230

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