Investors may still have a hard time understanding how all of IAC/InterActiveCorp's
Formerly USA Interactive, and even more formerly USA Networks, InterActive owns an impressive stable of companies, among them travel sites Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, and Expedia; electronic retailers HSN and Home Shopping Europe; dating services Match.com and uDate.com; online loan facilitator LendingTree; and well-known but not-well-loved Ticketmaster.
InterActive's fourth-quarter earnings this morning revealed total revenues 36% ahead of last year's number and 142% growth in operating income. Adjusted earnings moved up 21% to $0.29 per share. Free cash flow for all of 2003 grew by 81%. Looking at some of the major segments, Travel revenue was up 41%, Personals 29%, Electronic Retailing 14%, and Ticketing 11%.
These are mighty fine numbers from a company Diller believes belongs in the same class as Internet superstars eBay
Those who want a piece of the Internet commerce sector, but are wary of the valuations of the Big Three, should give InterActive a closer look. Diller has done his best to make things more accessible and understandable, and seems genuine in his efforts to focus on long-term results even at the expense of short-term gains. He long ago gave up the earnings guidance game, and is determined to keep the slick sales-speak to a minimum. As an example, of all the different positives today's earnings report could have touted, the press release was titled simply: "IAC Reports Q4 2003 Results."
Rex Moore owns shares of eBay. Check out his Valentine's Day stock idea in Stocks Fools Love. You're sure to get hooked.
More from The Motley Fool
IBM Struggled With the Tax Man in the 4th Quarter
A long-awaited return to actual sales growth was overshadowed by a $5.5 billion one-time tax charge.
1 Big Improvement That Apple Needs to Bring to the New iPhone SE
It's time for a new display.
Sears Holdings' Store Closures: No Problem for Seritage Growth Properties
Seritage Growth Properties gets most of its rent from Sears and Kmart. But the numerous store closures at both chains won't hurt Seritage as it works to increase its rental income and diversify its tenant base.