5 New Ways to Buy IAC

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.

More Foolishness:

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no problem with picking between five flavors, even if Tree.com's bark is as bad as its bite. He is a freelance contributor to IAC's Citysearch, but does not have a financial stake in IAC or in any of the other companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2008, at 7:23 AM, apotimus wrote:

    I believe the one share of Lending Tree for 13 shares of IAC is incorrect. The SEC filing states one-thirtieth of a share of Tree for every share of IAC not one-thirteenth

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2013, at 1:36 PM, BellaPol wrote:

    Timeshares are never a good investment. You can only use them for a certain time each year, and the upkeep payments on them are not worth it. When you go to sell them, you never get the price you paid. In the long run you'd be better off renting places in different locations each vacation. You aren't locked into one place that way:

    http://www.timesharescam.com/blog/58-is-timeshare-a-good-inv...

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