Internet and media company IAC/InterActiveCorp said this morning Q4 2006 profits fell 98% to $0.01/share ($2.69m) down from $0.35 ($119.5m) in Q4 2005. The drop was mainly due to its write down of the value of its entertainment coupon division. Excluding the writedown and other expenses, profits from continuing operations were $0.67, handily beating analyst consensus estimates of $0.52. Sales revenues were up 7.8% to $1.82 billion; its Ticketmaster division increased international sales, and its Ask.com search tool saw increases in both the number of queries and revenue per query -- as well as steering customers to other units such as Match.com and HSN. Bristlecone Value Partners Howard Deshong: "In the past, each of their businesses had operated separately without many synergies and resource sharing... the acquisition of Ask.com really provided them with an opportunity to change that." Shares climbed yesterday from $38.45 to close at $39.27 ahead of earnings.
Sources: Press Release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch
Commentary: Making the Match: Trends in Online Dating Sites • Ask.com: The Little Search Engine That Could (Topple Google?) • IAC Interactive Earnings Conference Call Transcript (later today)
Stocks/ETFs to watch: IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI). Competitors: Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)
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