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Say goodbye to the flavor wheel at Baskin-Robbins. Say hello to the limited menu at Olympia "no Coke, Pepsi" Cafe.
Barry Diller's new-media IAC (Nasdaq: IACID ) conglomerate is finally trading as five stand-alone companies today.
The spinoffs have been in the works since last year. IAC investor Liberty Media (Nasdaq: LCAPA ) threatened to derail the decoupling -- trust me, the imagery works, just roll with it -- until IAC cleared up some of the dilutive concerns that worried Liberty chieftain John Malone.
The two parties eventually made nice, and it's a harmonious split this morning. Now it's up to investors to decide what their favorite flavors are.
Vanilla? Try a scoop of HSN Inc. (Nasdaq: HSNI ) . The parent company of the HSN home shopping channel has been a consistent yet slow player, save for the occasional hiccups in its mail-order catalog businesses.
Rocky road? That would be Tree.com (Nasdaq: TREE ) . Don't let the arbor moniker trick you. This is actually the holding company for out-of-favor sites like LendingTree and RealEstate.com. There is an opportunity for turnaround investors, though. It is the one subsidiary with the fewest shares outstanding, as IAC investors are getting just one share of Tree for every 13 shares of IAC they own (the other spinoffs are being distributed as one share for every five shares of IAC).
Gelato? If you prefer exotic European ices, ILG (Nasdaq: IILG ) beckons. Interval Leisure Group runs the popular Interval time-share exchange network. The company also runs several travel-related websites.
Pistachio? If you favor something a little nutty, catering to rock stars with Ticketmaster (Nasdaq: TKTM ) may be just the ticket for you. The live-event ticketing and marketing company has grown nicely despite the weak economy. I guess traveling shows and historic reunion tours have a funny way of getting people to spend money to forget about life for a while. A lot has been made of the threat to Ticketmaster now that Live Nation (NYSE: LYV ) is moving into this space, but there is plenty to go around.
Neapolitan sundae? If you still want a little bit of everything, sticking with IAC itself is a good choice. It is keeping a wide variety of the company's fast-growing websites, like Ask.com, dating website Chemistry.com, and the Service Magic home-contracting referral hub. The stock will trade under the ticker symbol IACID for a few weeks as part of the spinoff, before returning to its original IACI ticker symbol.
So get cracking on the due diligence and pick your flavor or flavors. The ice cream's melting.