Bankrate said its first quarter earnings grew 26 percent as Web site traffic increased and the company benefited from recent acquisitions. The North Palm Beach-based personal finance company said it earned $6.8 million, or 35 cents a share, on revenue of $42.5 million. In the prior-year quarter, the company earned $5.4 million, or 28 cents a share, on revenue of $22.2 million. Excluding certain compensation costs, BankRate earned 46 cents a share. "It was a strong quarter, with traffic, revenue and EBITDA all at record levels," Chief Executive Officer Thomas R. Evans said in a news release. "The increase in consumer activity, combined with the diversification of our business has strengthened our financial performance." Bankrate said its online revenue jumped 110 percent to $40 million as page views doubled. Graphic advertising and lead generation revenue was up 153 percent to $26.4 million, hyperlink revenue was up 58 percent to $13.6 million, and print publishing and licensing revenue was down 23 percent to $2.5 million. Bankrate's acquisitions of several web sites also contributed to the company's 91 percent revenue growth, including Insure Me Inc and Savingforcollege.com. The company affirmed its revenue forecast of between $167 million and $172 million. Shares were down $1.56 to $51.50 in pre-market trading. The 52-week high was $57.32 on Feb. 8. The 52-week low was $33.64 on Aug. 16.